Tax Deductions for My Kid's Recreation

by Priti Ramjee; Updated September 26, 2017
Boys in huddle

The federal Child Tax Credit helps you reduce your income tax by up to $1,000 per child. Your child must be under the age of 17 to qualify, and be shown on your income tax statement as your dependent for whom you provide more than half in financial support. Your child must be a U.S. citizen and live with you as his main residence. In addition to the Child Tax Credit, certain recreational activities can be tax-deductible depending on the nature of the program, type of expense and method of payment.

Student's Degree Program

If your child is a high school graduate or has his General Educational Development (GED) credential and is enrolled in a degree program, you may qualify for a deduction under Qualified Education Expenses. If sports, games or other recreational activities are part of the course he has enrolled in, as your dependent, the cost of the program can be deducted to reduce your income tax by up to $4,000.

Business Expense

After-school programs or extracurricular school activities, such as cheerleading, football, dance or sports, are considered personal expenses and are not tax-deductible. However, expenses related to cheerleading and other sports, including the cost of your child's uniforms and other accessories, can be deductible if your child is engaged in those activities professionally. As a professional, instead of a personal expense, it is considered a business expense and can be tax-deductible.

Child Care Program

If you place your child under the age of 13 in a childcare program and your child has lived with you for more than half the year, it is tax-deductible. Similarly, if the childcare program offers recreational services, you may qualify for a tax deduction. In this way, the cost of sending your child to an after-school recreational program or even summer camp may qualify as a replacement for child care.

Charitable Donation

If your child belongs to a team sport through a tax-exempt association such as a church or other organization, your donations to the association may be considered a charitable donation. Your donations may be cash toward pizza, water, team trophies or other needs. Your donation is considered tax-deductible if it is a good-faith donation with nothing in return. If you purchase merchandise or goods for more than fair market value, the amount you pay over the value of the item can be considered a charitable contribution.

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