Tax questions

March 03, 2000

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15. See below for how tosubmit a question.

Is a child care tax deduction available for toddlers enrolled in pre-K3, pre-K4 and kindergarten if you have to pay to send them to classes?

Yes. But the IRS makes a distinction between the cost of "care" and the cost of "schooling." Normally, only the cost of care can count toward the credit. But if your child is in a grae below first grade, and the amount you pay for "schooling" is incidental to and cannot be separated from the cost of "care," you can count the total cost of sending you child to preschool. Once your child is in first grade, only the cost of care can count in figuring your credit.

Frank E. Brodnax, CPA, Ellin & Tucker, Chartered

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at 410-783-1800. Call 410-268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 410-836-5028 in Harford County, 410-848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after the greeting. To submit questions by e-mail and access an online tax guide, go to The Sun's Web site at www.sunspot.net/tax.

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered personally.

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