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«CHILD CARE PROVIDER Audit Technique Guide NOTE: This document is not an official pronouncement of the law or the position of the Service and cannot ...»

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Audit Technique Guide

NOTE: This document is not an official pronouncement of the law or the position of the

Service and cannot be used, cited, or relied upon as such. This guide is current through

the publication date. Since changes may have occurred after the publication date that

would affect the accuracy of this document, no guarantees are made concerning the

technical accuracy after the publication date.

Publication date 3/2009 Table of Contents Purpose

Definitions: Types of Child Care Providers


Income Issues


Income Audit Techniques


Income from Records

Reconstruction Methods to Verify Income or Reconstruct Income

Food Program Reimbursements (CACFP)

Other Income

Expense Issues:

Introduction to Expenses – Determining the deductible amount under IRC Section 162 and the business usage percentage in child care provider businesses

Substantiation Requirements of IRC Section 274(d) and IRC Regulation 1.274-5T... 13 Depreciation


IRC Section 179

Special depreciation allowances

Listed Property

Vehicle (Car and Truck) Expense

Travel, Meals, Entertainment

Food Expense

Business Use of the Home:


Requirements to Qualify for Business Use of Home Deduction for Day Care Facilities (Regulatory)

Limitation on Deduction (Regulatory)

Regular Use Versus Exclusive Use

Determining Business Percentage

Figuring the Allowable Deduction:

Tax Exempt Income Used for Payment of Housing Used in Day Care:.................. 23 Depreciation of the Home

Modifications to the Home

Sale of Home



Bad Debts

Commissions and Fees

Employee Benefit Program/Pension and Profit Sharing


Office Expenses and Supplies


Start-Up Costs (paid or incurred after October 22, 2004)

Page 2 Organizational Costs of Corporations or Partnerships (paid or incurred after October 22, 2004)

Telephone Expense


Bank Charges


Other Expenses


Employee Versus Independent Contractor

Exhibit A Sample IDR

Exhibit B Internal Revenue Regulation 1.280A-2(i)

–  –  –

• Provide background information

• Identify frequent and/or unique issues

• Provide examination techniques

• Supply applicable law Definitions: Types of Child Care Providers “Kith and Kin” (Care Provided by Relatives, Friends and Neighbors): These caregivers are generally the most informal type of child care providers. It is often called "Kith and Kin" care and can take place in the caregiver's home or in the child's home. In some instances, the provider will be a spouse caring for his/her own children and also taking care of one or two additional children for the extra income. Others can be grandparents or other relatives, friends, or neighbors who welcome the extra money or are not paid, but are willing to look after the children. This type of care is generally not under much regulatory control and in some states may be exempt from licensing requirements. These providers often believe that this income is not taxable and, therefore, need not be reported. However, this could result in both taxable income and selfemployment tax. Child care provided in the child’s home by a household employee, which is discussed under In-Home Care, is also a concern.

Family Day Care: This type of child care is provided in the home of the provider, is nonmedical and is usually for less than 24 hours. Regulations differ from state to state;

however, most states regulate facilities that care for more than four children. Most states require family care providers to have criminal background checks, preservice and/or ongoing training as well as state inspection on an annual or random basis. All states set minimum health, safety, and nutrition standards for providers. Where there are government regulatory requirements, the provider is required to be approved, certified, registered or licensed under the applicable state or local law. [Compliance with regulatory requirements may be important as it could affect the deduction for the business use of the home (discussed later) under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 280A(c)(4).] Contact the applicable state or local agency for their regulations, which can be found via the link cited below.

Child Care Centers: This type of child care is usually provided in separate facilities apart from the owner’s residence. Many child care centers are organized as corporations (Form 1120), S corporations (Form 1120S) or partnerships (Form 1065). There may be more than one facility operated by a corporation or partnership. There may be one or more shareholders or partners involved in several facilities, each of which may be organized as a separate corporation or partnership. All states require child care centers to be licensed, although the specifics of each will differ. Contact the applicable state or local agency for their regulations using the link below. These centers may be required to report Page 4 attendance records or other similar information. They may have large commercial kitchens, playground equipment, swimming pools, and large quantities of toys In-Home Care: Some children are cared for in their own homes by a paid housekeeper, maid, governess, au pair or nanny. The home caregiver is generally paid as a household employee. The parents show the wages on Schedule H attached to their Form 1040. This situation is not a child care provider business. The nanny, housekeeper, etc. receives wages but does not incur expenses as a child care provider. For more information see Topic 756 - Employment Taxes for Household Employees. Most states do not regulate in-home caregivers, but some states regulate nanny-placement agencies Babysitters: Lastly, babysitters provide child care in the child’s home on an irregular basis, such as when the parents go out to an event leaving the children under the care of a college student. The income of a babysitter is taxable income.

Others: There may be other types of child care providers, such as after-school programs, church programs, or other tax-exempt entities. These are not specifically addressed in this document The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education provides links to individual state's child care regulations, as well as licensing and child care-related contacts.

Status This guide will focus on the income and expenses of a child care provider. Examination

of these returns may result in the following determinations:

• Income is frequently understated and may be paid in cash.

• Expenses are often overstated and may be paid in cash

• Record keeping is often inadequate.

• Issues most often adjusted include:

o Gross receipts o Food reimbursement o Food expense (may include personal expenses) o Business use of home o Unusually large expenses o Supplies and miscellaneous expenses (may include personal expenses).

Income IssuesIntroduction

Whether the child care provider is a babysitter, “Kith & Kin” type provider, a family day care operator or a child care center, the income from the activity is taxable income. The net income is subject to self-employment tax, if applicable, with the exception of a Page 5 provider who is organized as a separate entity, such as a corporation. The income and expenses of sole proprietors should be reported on Form 1040, Schedule C (or C-EZ), with the net income reported on Schedule SE to compute self-employment tax, if applicable. Partnerships report their income and expenses on Forms 1065 with the net income passing to the partners on Forms K-1 and reported on their Forms 1040, Schedule E, and Form SE, if applicable. Similarly, S corporations report their income and expenses on Forms 1120S and pass through the net income to their shareholders to be reported on their Forms 1040. C corporations report their income and expenses on Forms 1120.

[Note: Some providers may be doing business as limited liability companies (LLCs).

LLCs may be taxed as Schedule C businesses, as partnerships, or as corporations, depending on the circumstances. [See IRC Regulations 301.7701-1, 301.7701-2, and 301.7701-3] The records available will range from nonexistent to a very sophisticated electronic set of books and records depending on the size of the provider and the bookkeeping and tax knowledge of the provider. Income may be received from the parents, business entities, government subsidies, food program reimbursements including the Child & Adult Care Food Program (“CACFP”) discussed below, and nonprofit organizations. The audit techniques used will be based on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Income Audit Techniques

Audit techniques required are in IRM 4.10.4 and summarized on the Examiner’s Mandatory Lead Sheet Work Paper #400 “Minimum Income Probe Lead Sheet”. The following provides information specific to this industry to assist in performing the various income analyses.

Interview The answers to the questions below will provide you with the information that is available to verify that income is correctly reported and what sources are available to do

an indirect method if necessary:

• Ask how the provider determined the income for the business.

• Does the provider maintain any records of the income received? What kind of records?

• Does the provider have a contract with the children’s parents? If yes, ask for the contract.

• Does the provider have a rate schedule? Is the same schedule used for all children or do some have a special rate? Determine which children have a different rate and the amount. If the provider does not have the rate schedule for the year in question, ask for the current rate schedule and then ask how it differed in the tax year under exam.

• What is the policy for payment when the child is absent due to illness, vacation, etc.?

Page 6

• Does the provider get paid vacation? (Are the fees due for the period the provider takes agreed upon vacation?)

• Does the provider have a fee policy for when the parents drop their children off early or are late picking up the children?

• Does the provider have a special charge when the child is left beyond the normal business hours on certain days or occasions in which the provider agrees to keep them longer?

• Does the provider ever keep children overnight?

• Does the provider furnish transportation to and from school, field trips, etc.? Is it part of the contract price or is there extra charge for either service?

• For infants and toddlers who wear diapers, does the provider furnish diapers? Is there an extra charge? If the parents provide diapers, does the provider charge for diapers used above what was provided, if needed? How does the provider keep track of extra charges for diapers?

• Does the provider charge holding fees? (fees to hold a position for a child prior to the child coming to the facility)

• Does the provider charge a registration fee? A fee to cover the cost of the provider’s time to interview the parents, prepare contracts, collecting enrollment information, etc.? If yes, ask if the state ever paid the registration fee, which is done in some states.

• Does the provider have a sign-in, sign-out sheet for the parents?

• Does the provider have attendance sheets?

• Does the provider have emergency contact information?

• Does the provider have permission for medical treatment forms for the children in the program?

• Does the provider have parent permission slips for field trips?

• Does the provider receive payments from sources other than the parents, such as food program reimbursements (CACFP), payments from the parent’s employer, grant payments from a nonprofit organization, etc.? If yes, then inquire how the provider records the payments or keep track of what was received and if the provider needs to submit any records to get the payments, such as reports to get the CACFP payments. Do the payments include any amounts for the provider’s own children?

• If there is a bad weather day and the child does not come, does the parent still have to pay?

• Does the provider furnish year-end statements to the parents as to how much they paid in the tax year?

• Does the provider furnish meals and snacks or do parents send food with the children? If meals and snacks are provided, ask for details of what kind of meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and how many snacks.

• For providers who have facilities not in their home, ask if they rent out the facilities during nonbusiness hours. Some providers do this especially on weekends.

• Ask if the provider was granted a loan to purchase business equipment whose principal was forgiven. If yes, then ask what the terms of the forgiveness were and

–  –  –

Note: For all yes answers, use follow-up questions to get details.

Income from Records If the provider maintains records, tie the records to the return. Test the completeness of the records against other sources you discover in the interview, such as sign-in and signout sheets, contracts, attendance records, year-end receipts, emergency contact information, etc. Verify that all the children that are cared for are accounted for in the records. Check for the reporting of extra charges, such as late fees, trip fees, etc. Question any significant fluctuations in the weekly/monthly income.

Reconstruction Methods to Verify Income or Reconstruct Income

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