Tax deductible childcare costs – how it works – hermoney

Work without being sure that the youngsters are well looked after? Not at all! Childminder, in daycare or through a babysitter – Professional childcare is expensive. The costs often swallow up a not insignificant part of the salary, which is often puny for many women due to the tax bracket. Whining doesn’t help here. Get some of your money back by claiming the childcare costs against the tax.

Table of Contents:

Requirements and amount of deductible childcare costs

What childcare costs you can deduct from the tax

Under what conditions does the tax office recognize costs?

Where you have your child looked after – in the crèche, with a childminder or at home by a nanny – doesn’t matter at first. It is crucial that it is an "immediately supervising or supervising activity".

  • accommodation in the crèche and in kindergarten, after-school care or with the childminder
  • the nanny or babysitter in your own household
  • the au pair or domestic help if she is looking after your child
  • Holiday hoard (without food and excursion fees)

In contrast, care costs, for example, do not include:

  • tutoring
  • Sports courses
  • music school
  • Care during your vacation in a club or in the children’s hotel
  • Expenditures for school trips

Important: Regardless of whether you are a super nanny, babysitter or kindergarten: you have to have an invoice from the caregiver or facility to deduct the costs. And pay them via bank transfer. The tax office does not recognize the twenty euros for the babysitter – cash on hand. No receipts either.

Here is an overview of the most important information:

There is an age limit?

Up to the end of the 14th year of life you can claim accruing childcare costs and deduct them from your tax as special expenses. The prerequisite is that your child is registered with you and that you either receive a tax-free allowance or child benefit.

There is an exception for children who cannot take care of themselves because of a mental, mental or physical disability. The age limit here is 25.

How much can I deduct the childcare costs?

The tax office recognizes up to 6,000 euros per year as a special edition. And you can deduct two thirds of this and claim it against tax. So a maximum of 4,000 EUR – per child and year.

Are you married, Both have unlimited income and do not live separately for long periods of time, there are the following cases of assessment:

  • Joint assessment: It is unimportant which parent paid the childcare costs.
  • Individual assessment: Here the costs are allocated to the person who has borne them. If both have financed the costs, everyone can deduct the costs up to half – that is a maximum of 2,000 euros.

If you would like a different distribution of the maximum amount, you must submit a joint application. It is best to discuss your approach – and whether it is worthwhile – with a tax advisor.

If you are not married, the following applies:

  • The person with whom the child lives can deduct the childcare costs. Single parents – just like a married couple – can claim up to 6,000 euros.
  • If you live together without a marriage certificate, you can split the costs.

Important: In the case of unmarried parents, the Treasury only recognizes the costs of the person who has signed the contract with the childminder, the daycare center or the kindergarten. If you want to claim both costs, you should sign the care contract together.

Childcare is tax deductible by grandparents

Grandparents are wonderful. Especially when they take care of the little ones while you work. If the grandmother comes into the house or fetches the grandchildren from the daycare, there are usually travel costs. You can also claim this for tax purposes (according to a judgment of the FG Nuremberg on May 30, 2018, 3 K 1382/17). However, the following also applies here: supervision contract and transfer, please.

Tip: If grandma and grandpa watch out free of charge, you can still claim the travel costs.

What patchwork families should look out for

If you and your partner live together in a “patchwork” family, you should make sure that the biological parent bears the childcare costs. Because only he is entitled to deduct the costs. For example, if the stepfather pays the costs, the tax office does not consider them as a special expense.

Meal money is not tax deductible

Many children have lunch in the daycare or after-school care. You usually have to pay extra for this. Unfortunately you cannot claim the cost of meals, you can only deduct the actual care.

Many facilities and providers of daycare centers give the parents a receipt once a year, in which the costs have already been split. If this is not the case, you have to do the math yourself. Ask how much you pay for lunch or lunch and deduct these costs yourself.

School fees for the private school – I can deduct these costs?

Kindergarten is over and your child is coming to school. If you want to send your child to a private school rather than to a state institution, that will cost you. But here, too, the Father State comes a little bit closer. Because no matter whether Waldorf school, Montessori, all-day school, private high school, Catholic boarding school or Protestant special school – you can claim up to 30 percent of the costs. A maximum of 5,000 euros per child and year.

Where you state the costs in the tax return

You bill childcare costs using the special expenses. Employees can enter the data themselves using a tax program and send the documents to the responsible tax office. If you are unsure, you can also look for one-off support, for example with income tax assistance or a tax advisor.

If you have a tax advisor who takes care of your income tax, give him all the relevant documents, such as invoices or contracts. Also the Account statements showing the transfer. You will not have to submit it with the income tax return, but you are obliged to keep it.

Tax-free payments by the employer

Do you have a nice boss or work in a family-friendly company? Then it could be that your employer makes a tax and social security-free contribution to childcare in addition to your salary. This includes

  • Cash benefits (grant to daycare or childminder)
  • Benefits in kind (accommodation in the company’s own kindergarten)

The prerequisite for tax-free payment according to § 3 No. 33 KKStG is that your child is not yet of school age and that the childcare is not done in your own household.

herMoney Tip

If you are an employee, you can also have the childcare costs entered as a tax-free allowance on the income tax card. So whoever does this pays less from the start. However, the data are always calculated from the previous year.

This means: If the costs change or your child comes to school from kindergarten, you may have to pay back money. It can hurt. So if it is somehow feasible, submit better subsequently and look forward to a repayment.

By the way: do you have the cheapest tax bracket as a married mom? More information in our article on good tax bracket for married couples.


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Christina Cherry
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