Deduct childcare from tax

Most parents are aware that the costs of daycare, day care or day school can be deducted from the tax. But did you also know that you can indicate childcare by nanny, childminder, babysitter or grandparents in the tax return as a deduction if certain conditions are met?

However, the conditions and the amount of the maximum amount that can be deducted from the tax per child are regulated differently at federal and cantonal level.

Direct federal tax

In the case of direct federal tax, single-parent families, married couples and cohabiting couples can be verified Childcare costs deduct up to a maximum of currently CHF 10,100 / per child per year. This applies to all children up to the age of 14. The condition for this is that the children live in the same household and the Are subject to the taxpayer’s maintenance obligation. In order for the childcare to be deducted from the tax, both parents must be employed, in training or further professional training, or unable to look after the children due to serious illness, accident or disability. This must be documented and understandable for the tax authority. Furthermore, in the case of part-time work, only that part of the care that both parents claim due to gainful employment or other absences (see conditions above) can be deducted.

cantonal taxes

Due to the different cantonal regulations, the amount of the maximum third-party care allowance (from CHF 3,000 to CHF 17,500), as well as the conditions and age limits, vary for cantonal taxes. In this respect, no uniform statement can be made regarding the tax deduction of childcare costs for cantonal taxes. Please inform yourself about the cantonal regulations that apply to you.

Childcare provided by a nanny or childminder

You have probably already concluded a written childcare contract with your childminder anyway. In the case of a nanny, we also strongly advise you to record agreements made in an employment contract. This contract can then also serve as appropriate proof of external childcare for the tax return. In addition, the tax return must be accompanied by evidence of the actual costs, e.g. a corresponding list of the wage transfers. Please note: Only the pure childcare costs are deductible. Costs that are incurred for the catering of the children during the care period are regarded as living expenses and cannot be billed.

Childcare through babysitters

The childcare costs of a babysitter can be deducted if they are due to employment, training / professional development or illness / accident / disability. This must be documented and understandable for the tax authority. If the babysitter is used for childcare to go out again in the evening or to pursue other leisure activities, this cannot be deducted from the tax. It is important to note that the effective costs must be proven by supporting documents. If you do not transfer the money to the babysitter but pay it out in cash, it is best to get a receipt block for this, with which the receipt of the money is confirmed by the babysitter with your signature. In addition, it is recommended to document the day and time of the care so that in the event of an obligation to provide evidence, you can comply.

If you employ your babysitter as part of a so-called pocket money job, then please also consider that the total wages in the calendar year must not exceed CHF 750. Otherwise, social security contributions are also due for this employment relationship.

Childcare by grandparents

If the above-mentioned framework conditions (employment, further education or illness) are fulfilled and the grandparents do not live in the same household, even the external care by the grandparents can be deducted from the tax if the care is paid. However, when you file your tax return, you will need to include a statement of costs and the relevant payment documents as proof of the payments made. And the grandparents have to report the total amount of the childcare they receive as income on their tax return and thus tax it as income.

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Christina Cherry
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