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Day Care Providers - Meals for Children

 

Can I deduct meals for children if I am a day care provider?

The cost of providing meals and snacks for children in day care is difficult to substantiate when food for day care children and the provider's family is commingled on the same grocery bill.

 
IRS tax treatment of meals for children for day care providers

Standard deduction vs actual costs

Recognizing this problem, the IRS allows providers to choose between using a standard rate for meals and snacks in lieu of using actual costs.

What costs are included in the standard rate for meals for children?

The amount included in the standard rate is for food and beverages.

What costs are not included in the standard rate for meals for children?

It does not include nonfood supplies used in food preparation, service or storage such as containers, paper products or utensils.

 

Which deduction method for meals to choose?

The provider can alternate between the standard rate method and the actual cost method only in different tax years. Once elected, the same method must be used for the entire year. The provider is required to keep a record to substantiate deductions, listing the name of each eligible child, dates and hours of attendance and a record of the types of meals and snacks served.

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