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Tax tips for Dad on Father's Day 2019

Dad helping daughter and son with homework
Helping with homework is just one of Dad's many jobs.

Fathers' roles have changed a lot over the years.

When I was a kid — yes, to many that was back in the olden days — my dad's main job was to have a job. All the day-to-day parenting duties fell to mom.

Nowadays, though, fathers who live with their children are taking a more active role in caring for them and helping out around the house, according to Pew Research Center.

Home-based fathers: Among the 8 facts about American dads discussed in Pew's Fact Tank feature is that more dads are staying home to care for their kids.

Dads made up 17 percent of all stay-at-home parents in 2016, up from 10 percent in 1989.

And as the graphic below indicates, that same year 24 percent of stay-at-home dads said they were there specifically to care for their family. That's a major leap from the 4 percent of fathers who gave that reason for staying home back in 1989. 

Stay at home dads data_Pew Research

Tax help for child care: Good for those families who can afford to have just one breadwinner, allowing the other parent to take care of the child care duties.

If, however, you and your partner both work outside the home, be sure to take advantage of a tax break that helps you cover, a bit, the cost of child care.

The child and dependent care tax credit's biggest benefit is that it's a credit. That means it can reduce dollar-for-dollar what tax-filing dads — and we're sticking with Pop references today since it is Father's Day — owe the U.S. Treasury.

The credit, though, does require some calculations to get to the final tax savings.

You can count up to $3,000 spent on care for one child or up to $6,000 for the care costs two or more youngsters in figuring your child care credit amount.

That actual credit claim is a percentage of those costs, which maxes out at 35 percent, based on your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Once the figuring is finished, the possible maximum child care tax credit is $1,050 (35 percent of $3,000) for the care of one child or twice that for the cost of care for two or more kiddoes.

And since summer officially arrives at the end of this coming week, remember that day camp costs also count toward the child care credit claim.


"There should be a children's song: 'If you're happy and you know it,
keep it to yourself and let your dad sleep.'" —  Comedian and father of five Jim Gaffigan
Image via GIPHY


More parental tax breaks:
Whether you're a stay-at-home dad, one who mainly works outside the house, a dad whose hands-on child rearing days are well in the past, a grandfather, a stepdad or a brother or uncle or nephew who plays an important role in the lives of youngsters in your family, I hope this special Sunday is great, as are the rest of the days of the year.

And if you're interested in other ways Uncle Sam can help you and all parents, my gift to all y'all on Father's Day 2019 is these other child-related tax breaks:

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