Do I Need a Tax ID Number to Claim Preschool Expenses on Income Taxes?

Hours spent in preschool may be tax deductible.
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The costs of working, paying for child care, and running a household can add up. Fortunately, there are deductions that can help lower your tax burden and put more money in your pocket. If you are at work during the hours your child is at preschool, you may claim preschool expenses on your income taxes. You will need the tax ID numbers of the school or the person providing childcare services and for the qualifying dependent.

Tax ID Number for Dependent

For each qualifying dependent, you will need a tax ID number. Typically, this is the child's Social Security number. If you do not know your child's taxpayer identification number, contact the local Social Security office for instructions on how to obtain the number.

Tax ID Number for Preschool

You will also need the tax identification number for the preschool. Larger schools will likely have an identification number for the business. If the school sends an end-of-year tax statement, this information will be located on that form. For smaller schools or individuals offering small in-home preschool classes, you may need to ask for the person's Social Security number.

Taxpayer Identification Number for Aliens

If the person watching your child is not a U.S. citizen and may not obtain a Social Security number, that person must get an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) from the Social Security Administration. You use the ITIN in lieu of a Social Security number.

Adopted Child Without Social Security Number

If you recently had a qualifying dependent placed with you but have no Social Security number for the child, you may still claim the credit by visiting the Social Security office and obtaining an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). You will file form W-7A, which is the "Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending Adoptions."

Dependent Flexible Spending Account

Another option that can help save even more money is a flexible spending account for your dependent. If your employer offers this option, the money paid in is taken from your wages before you pay taxes. This means you will automatically pay less in taxes throughout the year.

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