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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 52 Family Child Care Tax Workbook and Organizer You can include the following activities in calculating how many hours your home is used for your business: • caring for children • cleaning the home for your business • cooking for the children in your care • planning and preparing activities for your business • keeping business records, including paperwork for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) • conducting interviews with parents • talking to parents on the telephone about your business • locating resources and information on the Internet • any other business-related activities that you do in your home In calculating your Time percentage, you may not count time that you spend outside your home on activities such as shopping or transporting children to school. For those activi­ ties, you are not using your home for business purposes. Maximize Your Claim Many family child care providers don’t include all their working hours in calculating their Time percentage and therefore do not take full advantage of the law. Although there is no maximum Time percentage, it is important to track your working hours so that you have evidence to back up your claim. Also, you must recalculate your Time percentage each year, because the number of hours you work usually isn’t exactly the same from year to year. Here are some tips for recording your business hours: Hours Spent Caring for Children Throughout the year, keep records that show how much time you spend caring for the children in your business. Keep attendance records, or save a copy of a document that describes your normal working day, such as a parent contract or a flyer advertising your business. Example This year you cared for children from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., five days a week, and took one week of vacation. In this case, you spent 2,550 hours caring for children (10 hours a day x 5 days a week x 51 weeks = 2,550 hours). To come up with this number, count all the hours when children are in your care from the time the first child arrives to the time the last child leaves. If you usually work from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but a child regularly arrives early or stays late, note this on a calendar or in your record book and count the additional time. If a child stays overnight occasionally, count all the hours that the child is in your house. If you regularly care for children over­night, your Time percentage could be very high. In this case, it is extremely important to keep exact records of when children are present. If you take a vacation, don’t count this time as business hours. You probably should not count the hours for paid holidays, either, although there are no IRS guidelines on this point. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL