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Claiming childcare costs - how much is allowed?

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I understand you can claim back for the costs of childcare on your tax returns...

 

Is this only applicable to daycare situations or can babysitting costs be claimed back as well. Does it have to be a registered childminder? How much is allowable?

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

K Thx

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It's explained in post no. 116 in Filing a Tax Return, which is the post with the instructions how to fill in the Anlage Kind for all calendar years up to 2011.

 

For the tax return for 2012 (to be submitted starting with 1. January 2013), there have been some changes:

 

  • for getting the Kindergeld it is no longer imperative that your child has own income of less than 8,004€ a year (so go ahead, transfer those stocks you always wanted to to your kid)
  • you can claim child care expenses without needing any additional justifications, even if not both parents are working
  • you can claim child care expenses for kids up to 14, even if one parent stays at home (until 2011 that was only allowed for kids from 3 to 6)

 

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Hello there,

I couldn't seem to find the details on this anywhere. I claim child care costs for Mittagsbetrauung and Herbst- and Osternferienbetrauung. My tax adviser is now wanting "official confirmation letter of child care expenses" for the Mittagesbetreuung beyond our contract and monthly payments plus a "letter that mentions" that the Ferienbetrauung wasn't "just for fun."

 

The place that runs the Ferienbetrauung doesn't know what I'm talking about and says they've never provided anyone with any such letter before, likewise for the Mittagsbetrauung. Is there something specific "in German" I should be asking for or are these expenses not ordinarily allowed as child care deductions?

 

Thanks.

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The problem with Mittagsbetreuung is that you are not allowed to claim for the part of the cost pertaining to the meal that your child gets, so the place offering the Mittagsbetreuung has to issue you an invoice with the total amount split up into meal and child care costs.

 

You can only claim for Ferienbetreuung if its primary purpose is that you as the earning parent can then use that time to generate taxable income instead of having to mind your child yourself. For example, the city of Nürnberg states that purpose quite nicely on their website:

"Sie sind berufstätige Mutter oder berufstätiger Vater eines Schulkindes und benötigen während der Ferien – beziehungsweise für einen Teil davon – eine ganztägige und verlässliche Betreuung für Ihr Kind?"

If, on the other hand, you booked that Ferienbetreuung so that your offspring can acquire new skills and, for example, play football, learn Mandarin or to play a musical instrument, then the child care aspect is not the main aspect and then it isn't tax deductible, see here.

Generally speaking, if the Ferienbetreuung is full time and throughout the entire holiday then it's more likely to be accepted as a tax deductible expense than if you booked your child on a 3-day drama workshop.

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Thanks so much! Yes, the Mittagsbetreuung's contract clearly separates the food costs and I know I can't deduct that, but my account says she needs another letter saying how much we paid, which is in the contract and my bank transfers so I think it's clear.

 

I understand what you're saying about the Ferienbetreuung and I'm sure mine would stand up in court—it's dead boring, run by the city, and is clearly a place to dump your kids while you're working. Yet, they don't have any statement to the effect online or elsewhere. They don't learn or practice or do anything. So, likewise, I'm going to have my adviser just submit it and if there's a problem, we'll get them to issue something.

 

I think my adviser just enjoys making me jump through these hoops. Getting frustrating.

 

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