Preschool Tax Deductions

by Kathy Burns-Millyard ; Updated April 19, 2017
Some costs of preschool can be a tax deduction for working parents.

As a working parent, you have an added expense of providing child care for your children. Preschool is a form of child care in the government's eyes, and as such you might be eligible to deduct some of those costs from your federal income tax return. Child care tax deductions are allowed if you have a source of earned income and if your adjusted gross income falls below specific levels.

Preschool as Child Care

For the purpose of federal income taxes, regular education includes grades kindergarten through 12th grade. You cannot take income tax deductions for the time your children are in school, but you can take deductions for child care services you pay for so that you can work or look for work. Since preschool is not a standard education grade level, the IRS considers it to be a form of child care and it is an eligible service for the child care tax deduction.

Working Parents

If you have one or more children in preschool so that you can work or look for work, you can qualify for the child care tax deductions on your federal income tax return. You must have an eligible child who is under the age of 13, and you can only count preschool expenses that you incur while working or looking for work. If you are married and filing jointly, you or your spouse can be a full-time student instead of a worker.

Income Limitations

To qualify for the child care tax deductions, you must have a source of earned income. Earned income is that which you earn in the form of wages at a job or as a self-employed person. Some types of unemployment are also considered earned income. Your adjusted gross income determines the amount of credit you will receive.

Deduction Limitations

If you qualify for the child care tax credit, you are allowed to claim up to $3,000 in expenses for one child or up to $6,000 for more. Your actual deduction will be a percentage of the allowed claim, and the percentage varies from 20 percent to 35 percent based on your income.

About the Author

Kathy Burns-Millyard has been a professional writer since 1997. Originally specializing in business, technology, environment and health topics, Burns now focuses on home, garden and hobby interest articles. Her garden work has appeared on and other publications. She enjoys practicing Permaculture in her home garden near Tucson, Ariz.

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