Foster Care and Taxes

Posted on by LBS Tax

If this is your first year as a foster parent you may have many questions regarding your taxes. There is
different information out the for how to claim the child(ren) you are caring for. One of the biggest tax
changes for you may be keeping track of various expenses including mileage that can help reduce your
taxable income.
Another expense is getting your home ready for the child(ren). Whether it be a crib, new bedding car
seat, stroller, age appropriate toys, or even toddler proofing your home you need to keep track of these
expenses. These additional costs are may be deductible. Keep track of diapers, special food (toddler
snacks or food allergies) baby formula, sippy cups or any costs spent out of pocket for which you are not
directly reimbursed.
Another item to track is your mileage to doctors, counseling, any other prescribed activity for the child.
Also keep track of mileage to court, social worker or parent meetings, and foster care classes. If you
didn’t keep track at the beginning you can use your calendar where you listed your appointments and
figure out the mileage. Even mileage to the child school if your other children do not attend that school
can be deductible. A friend of mine has 3 bio-children and 1 foster. Last year every child went to a
different school due to their ages. One was in middle school, one was in a duel language program that
begins at kindergarten, their youngest was in pre-school and the foster was enrolled in the local public
school. The mileage from the one school was only 1⁄2 a mile but 2 times a day for 180 days ends up being
a minimum of $97 mileage deduction.
The examples above are not inclusive of all the deductible items of foster parents. There are other items
you are paying for that may be deductible, bring those in questions to your tax appointment and one of
our tax professionals can help you determine if it is deductible and how we can help you reduce your
income tax.
Download our worksheet

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