Are Camps Eligible for Dependent Care Flexible Spending

Many parents work for a company that has a Flexible Spending option (also called Flex Spending), which is money that can be deducted from your payroll and held in a special account to pay for certain items tax-free.

There is Medical Flexible Spending which may be used for doctor’s visits, medicine and other medical expenses.

There is also Dependent Care Flexible Spending which may be used for work-related expenses for day cares, nannies, babysitters and yes, day camps.

IRS Federal Publication 503 says (on page 7) “The cost of sending your child to an overnight camp is not considered a work-related expense. The cost of sending your child to a day camp may be a work-related expense, even if the camp specializes in a particular activity, such as computers or soccer.”

  • For day camps, yes (for children under 13 years old).
  • For overnight camps, no.
  • If your child does not spend the night at camp, it is most likely considered a day camp.
  • Overnight camps are also called Residential camps, because you are a resident when at camp.

You will need your camps Federal EIN number (also called a Tax ID number) and street address in order to process your claim. For Classroom Antics, this information is on your original camp receipt.

Eligible dependents are usually restricted to children under 13 years of age. Each employer’s flexible spending rules are different, so contact your HR coordinator for details on your plan. Some benefits may be found online.

Have you expensed a day camp before? Please comment below so we can learn how it went.