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Kids, summer camp tax breaks and our personal X Games site

It's summer, so that means kids are everywhere. Heck, they're even in our yard -- OK, our driveway, since we don't have much of a front yard.

Obviously inspired by the X Games held earlier this month in Austin, the neighborhood skateboarders and cyclists have taken over our block. And they've deemed our sloped, circular driveway a perfect practice area. (The hubby thinks its for competition, not just practice.)

This is not a surprise. When we moved here nine years ago (Yikes! Where did the time go?), we soon learned that opening our garage doors in the summer would send half a dozen or so kids scattering out of our driveway and down the street.

Local X Gamers driveway directions 1But now they've made our stretch of concrete an official biking and skating area.

Brake for X Gamers: When I went out to pick up the newspapers on Monday, I found the markings on the entry and exit of our driveway.

I haven't talked to the skaters/cyclists yet, but I'm assuming the one on the left that looks like some sort of jellyfish is the entry path notice, while the one on the right is the exit indicator. It directs riders/skaters to our neighbor's drive across the street and then down the sidewalk to the cul-de-sac.

The squiggles, I'm guessing, instruct dare the youngsters to make some sort of fancy moves coming and going out of our driveway.

Local X Gamers driveway directions 2Not having kids, I initially was a bit freaked out when we moved here by their choice of our driveway to play.

They can get a bit noisy. And I worried that if they fell and hurt themselves, their possibly litigious parents would come after us.

So I chatted with the kiddos. I admonished them to be careful, noting that I didn't want to have to deal with their folks any more than they did if they got hurt or they damaged our property.

So far, things have worked out fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the young daredevils don't get too adventurous this summer.

Summertime tax tips: This is just another instance of how the hubby and I, long-time child-free suburban residents, have learned to live, mostly harmoniously, with the many neighborhood kids.

We've also learned to accept the many child-related benefits in the Internal Revenue Code that don't apply to us. After all, as the saying goes, kids are our future.

In fact, it was the tax code that got me thinking about the kids on our block today.

This week's Weekly Tax Tip looks at 10 mid-year tax moves you should consider. One of them is to hang onto day camp receipts. You can use that expense if you claim the child and dependent care tax credit.

The nine other tax ideas include finishing your tax return if you got an extension; adjusting your withholding; evaluating your estimated taxes; getting organized; giving to charity; contributing to retirement accounts; planning for the 3.8 percent net investment income tax; becoming a short-term landlord; and hiring a tax professional. Check out the tip for details on each.

I'm hoping that lots of my neighbors will take advantage of the tax break possibilities of day camp (along with the nine other tax suggestions). The kids will have fun and I'll get my driveway back for a few extra daytime hours this summer!

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