Friday Four-Finding Childcare Alone

Mainstream childcare is expensive! The good news is that help is out there! You just have to know where to find it. You have to open not only your mouth to ask, but your home to give back as well.

Queen City Stay At Home Moms are open to watching each other children when needed. They work as a team. Every mom in the group understands what each one is going through and the obstacles to finding  suitable work, and affordable yet adequate childcare. They also offer their members  a discounted childcare service rate through The Big Sister.

Not everyone is in Charlotte, but the concept could work ANYWHERE. Here’s what I would do as a parent without local/ willing relatives or other support:

  • While out with the kids, observe the other moms. Notice if they would be someone you would want your child around. If so make a connection with them. If your child naturally navigate toward their child encourage them to introduce themselves….make friends. Then dive in on the parent. Go on exchange mommy cards.(Create your own mommy cards here)- please 🙂
  • Look for mom groups that match your lifestyle. A good moms group will make your journey in motherhood much more blissful. Of course you get what you you put in it, but building your mom tribe is never a bad idea. If you are active within the group, (keyword is active) you pretty much have created your own childcare system, especially if they have teen children… (In Charlotte? Click Here)
  • Speaking of teens- HIRE ONE! Retired women maybe an option too.Right now in Charlotte, are non certified sitter can get at least $9/hr. Add CPR beatification, more experience and other professional training and your rate goes up even more. If promise to feed them well , you may save even more. But don’t assume.it will happen with “busy-hard to listen little ones” No one wants to watch brats ..not even family members.
  • Find a job that offers free child care benefits. They are out there. Try FlexJobs.com.

big BROTHER little.jpgI will tell you this, the better behaved your child is, the least they have to do, the easier you are to work with, the better your chances are for securing both affordable and adequate childcare.

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Wednesday Wow! Hey WFHM, that babysitter is deductible!

“I’m a work from home mom and I hire a babysitter for meetings at home and away.I want to know if those expenses are deductible.”

QC Tracy and qcsm

Short ANSWER: YES! Keep your receipts and file them for ChildCare  at tax time. In fact, you may qualify for $3,000 in tax credits for one dependent, and a maximum of $6,000 for two dependents or more.

I have been asked this numerous times during tax season and by mothers that have decided to work from home. So I figured if I placed it here, moms could verify it against what the IRS says, save me time from repeating myself and I bring more traffic to my humble blog.  (Yes, who doesn’t love them THREE’fers)

Okay, so how to get the credit: 

The credit has a number of technical rules. For instance, in cases involving divorce, the custodial parent can take the credit, while noncustodial parents can’t, even if they would otherwise qualify to treat the child as a dependent.

Requirements 

In Charlotte and looking for a certified sitter? Contact The Big Sister! CLICK HERE!

In Charlotte and looking for a certified sitter? Contact The Big Sister! CLICK HERE!

 

To claim the child and dependent care credit, you must meet these requirements:

  • You and your spouse must usually file as married filing jointly. (See Filing Exceptions below.)
  • You must provide the care so you (and your spouse, if married) can work or look for work.
  • You must have some earned income. If you’re married and living together, both you and your spouse must have earned income. However, one spouse might be disabled or a full-time student at least five months of the year.

Even if you’re not married filing jointly, you and your spouse might be able to claim the credit. You must meet both of these requirements:

  • You paid more than half the cost of maintaining a household for the year. Both you and the qualifying person must have used the home as your main residence for more than half the tax year.
  • Your spouse wasn’t a member of the household during the last six months of the tax year.

You must provide the name, address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) of the person who provided the care. The taxpayer ID number is either a Social Security number (SSN) or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Ask your care provider for the number.- KP Tax Service

Qualifying persons

To claim a credit for qualified expenses, you must provide care for one or more qualifying persons. (See Qualified Expenses below.) Qualifying persons include:

  • Dependent who’s a qualifying child and under age 13 when you provide the care. Usually, you must be able to claim the child as a dependent to receive a credit. However, an exception applies for children of divorced or separated parents. In those situations, the child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent for purposes of this credit. This applies even if the noncustodial parent claims the child as a dependent.
  • Spouse or dependent of any age who’s both of these:
    • Physically or mentally incapable of self-care
    • Has the same main home as you do when you provide the care

Qualified expenses Child-Care-Inforaphic

 Don’t forget those expenses that cover household services, such as housekeeping, while you work or search for work, also count toward the credit if the services were necessary in part for child care.-KP Tax Service

Qualified child- or dependent-care expenses are those you incur while you work or look for work. The main purpose of the expenses must be for the well-being and protection of a qualifying person.

Qualified expenses include:

  • Expenses for care provided outside the home. This applies if the qualifying person regularly spends at least eight hours each day in your home.

If the qualifying person receives the care in a dependent-care center, the center must comply with all relevant state and local laws. A dependent-care center is one that cares for more than six people for a fee.

  • Expenses for in-home care. This includes expenses for:
    • Cooking
    • Light housework related to the qualifying individual’s care
    • The care itself
  • Gross wages paid for qualified services, plus your portion of:
    • Social Security
    • Medicare
    • Federal unemployment taxes
    • Other payroll taxes paid on the wages
    • Meals and lodging for the employee providing the services

These expenses don’t qualify for the child and dependent care credit:

  • Transportation costs to and from the childcare facility
  • Overnight camp expenses
  • Expenses for the education of a child in kindergarten or higher
  • Expenses for chauffeur or gardening services

The cost of before- or after-school programs might qualify if the program is for the care of the child. Education costs below kindergarten qualify if you can’t separate those costs from the cost of care. This includes nursery school.

  child careCalculating the credit

The credit is equal to 20%-35% of qualified expenses. The percentage you can deduct depends on your adjusted gross income (AGI). The maximum amount of qualified expenses you’re allowed to calculate the credit is:

  • $3,000 for one qualifying person
  • $6,000 for two or more qualifying persons

Complete Form 2441: Child and Dependent Care Expenses and attach it to your Form 1040 to claim the credit. For more details,  check out KP Tax Service. It’s mom owned and ran. With over a decade of experience.

FOR BABYSITTER/NANNYS HOUSEKEEPERS I’ll share more details on how to file your taxes and keep your business legal next week. In the mean time, here’s HOW to file your taxes-> READ THIS- HERE

www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/avoi…

www.4nannytaxes.com/faq/

Hope this helps!

Kelle, QC Supermom