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American Family Child Care

"Providers Helping Providers'

American Family Child Care

"Providers Helping Providers'

Tax Tips For Family Child Care Providers: What You Need To Know

Tax Tips For Family Child Care Providers: What You Need To Know

Posted on May 5th, 2023

Being a family child care provider can be a rewarding and fulfilling career, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities, including understanding and managing your taxes. In this comprehensive guide, we'll share essential tax tips to help you navigate the complex world of taxation, so you can maximize your deductions, reduce your liabilities, and keep your financial records organized. Plus, we'll provide valuable resources to help you understand the unique challenges that come with being a family child care provider.

Keep Accurate Records

The foundation of a smooth tax filing process is having accurate and up-to-date records. As a family child care provider, you should keep track of all income and expenses related to your business, including receipts, invoices, and bank statements. This will make it easier to accurately report your income and claim any allowable deductions.

Understand Your Business Structure

Your business structure plays a significant role in determining your tax obligations. Family child care providers can operate as sole proprietors, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), or corporations. Each structure has unique tax implications and reporting requirements. Be sure to consult with a tax professional or our team of specialists to determine which structure best suits your needs.

Familiarize Yourself with Deductions

As a family child care provider, you're eligible for various deductions that can significantly lower your taxable income. Some common deductions include:

  • Home Office: If you use a portion of your home exclusively for your child care business, you can deduct a percentage of your housing expenses, including mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, and property taxes.
  • Supplies and Equipment: The cost of supplies and equipment, such as toys, furniture, and educational materials, can be deducted.
  • Vehicle Expenses: If you use your vehicle for business purposes, such as transporting children or running errands, you can claim a deduction based on either the standard mileage rate or the actual expenses incurred.
  • Professional Development: Expenses related to professional development, such as training courses or conferences, can be deductible.
  • Insurance: Premiums for business liability insurance and other policies specific to your child care business can be deducted.

Know the Tax Credits Available to You

Tax credits directly reduce your tax liability, and as a family child care provider, you may qualify for several credits. These include:

  • Child and Dependent Care Credit: This credit is available to clients who pay you for child care services, and it can help attract new clients by reducing their tax burden.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: If you have a low to moderate income, you may be eligible for this valuable credit, which can offset some or all of your tax liability.
  • Employer-Provided Child Care Credit: If you offer child care services to your employees as a benefit, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 25% of the costs.

Consider Hiring a Professional

While it's possible to handle your taxes on your own, working with a tax professional or a specialized service like ours can save you time, stress, and potentially money. A professional will ensure you're taking advantage of all applicable deductions and credits while also helping you avoid costly mistakes and penalties.

Stay Up-to-Date with Tax Laws

Tax laws are constantly changing, and it's crucial to stay informed about the latest updates that may impact your family child care business. Joining professional organizations, subscribing to newsletters, or working with a tax professional can help you stay informed and compliant.

Set Aside Money for Taxes

It's important to set aside money throughout the year to cover your tax obligations. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, consider opening a separate savings account and regularly depositing a portion of your income to cover your estimated taxes

Leverage Technology

In the digital age, there are numerous tools and software designed to simplify bookkeeping and tax preparation. These tools can help you track income, categorize expenses, calculate your tax liability, and generate reports needed for your tax filings. Leveraging these resources can save you time and ensure accuracy in your financial management.

Understand Self-Employment Taxes

As a family child care provider, you're likely considered self-employed. This means you're responsible for paying self-employment taxes, which cover Social Security and Medicare taxes. Understanding how these taxes work and setting aside funds for them is crucial to avoid unexpected tax bills and penalties.

Plan for Retirement

Saving for retirement can offer significant tax advantages. Contributions to a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA or a solo 401(k), for instance, can be deducted from your taxable income, reducing your current tax liability. Plus, the money in these accounts grows tax-free until you start making withdrawals in retirement.

Stay Compliant with Licensing Regulations

Compliance with local and state licensing regulations not only ensures your operation is legal and safe but can also impact your tax situation. Some expenses associated with licensing, accreditation, and regulatory compliance can be deductible. Additionally, non-compliance can lead to fines or loss of licensing, which can have financial and tax implications.

Be Aware of State-Specific Tax Laws

In addition to federal taxes, you'll also need to be aware of state-specific tax laws. These can vary widely, so be sure to understand the rules in Massachusetts, where your business is based. State tax laws can impact your income tax rate, sales tax obligations, and eligibility for state-specific tax credits or deductions.


Managing taxes as a family child care provider can be complex, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By understanding your tax obligations, taking advantage of deductions and credits, maintaining accurate records, and seeking professional help, you can navigate the tax landscape with confidence.

As the American Family Child Care Association, we specialize in supporting family child care providers in navigating their unique challenges, including tax preparation. We offer a range of services from grant applications to social media marketing, assessments, and observations, all tailored to your needs.

Remember, tax planning is a year-round endeavor, not a once-a-year task. Regular attention to your financial and tax situation can help you avoid surprises, take advantage of opportunities to reduce your tax liability, and keep your business running smoothly.

If you have any questions, need assistance, or are interested in our services, please feel free to reach out to us at 16179290555 or via email at [email protected]. We are here to help you succeed in your family child care business. Let us be a part of your journey to success.

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