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I become a bit spiteful sometimes at the end of the year. All currently enrolled families get a W-10. Any family who left on really good terms and were a good family to work with during their time with me gets one mailed to them. But if they left on bad terms or didn't pay (which rarely happens to me anymore), or they were a pain to deal with while they were here, they don't get one unless they request it, and then it will be a reasonable amount of time before I put it in the mail, usually a couple days.I print them out from Minute Menu, I don't ever tell anyone they have to provide it. If they haven't paid, I then refuse until they pay in full. Like you said, nobody seems to know that rule.

Last year, someone called me on President's Day (I was closed), needing a W-10 for her tax appointment 20 minutes later. Unfortunately for her, it didn't seem I was home, and wasn't able to call her back at work like she requested, of course, until she was at her appointment. I then left a message saying I would get it out to her in the next day or two. Like I said, I can be a bit spiteful at this time of year. In my defense, she was very difficult to work with, and sometimes this is really the only place I can get a bit of revenge. Honestly, though, I'm really not like that the rest of the year!

tom copeland

Legally of course your information is correct. However, I suggest you look at the situation from a customer service standpoint. For the parents (customers) that have been gracious in supporting your revenue stream (income); what a nice gesture to give them the end-of-year receipt without being asked.

If the parent left owing you money there is obviously some animosity. Why perpetuate an angry customer who will beat you up to her friends, maybe slam you on Facebook or just generally take up some of your (provider) time and energy dealing with an angry person? A provider’s job is to take care of children and every minute they spend arguing with an angry customer takes away from the children. This situation should not enter the arena of “I’m right, I’m the boss, and you’re wrong!” Move the angry customer, or the potentially angry customer, out of your life. Take the high road. You don’t need the stress. All it will cost is a few minutes of time and a stamp.

If a parent has been a pain during the year; why would they not be a pain at the end of the year? Replace that customer; that’s why you have a contract and policies.
Blake Crosby (as sent to Tom Copeland)


I gave my (previous) daycare provider a W-10 to fill out and she has completely ignored me. Wha proof do I have to show the IRS that I did attempt to obtain her EIN and she's flat out refused to provide it? I have the email I sent, but there is no proof that I also took one to her house. So what am I to do from here?

tom copeland

Tiffany - As a parent you can claim the child care tax credit as long as you make a good faith effort to get the child care provider's identification number. Sending her a Form W-10 is enough. Write on the back of your Form 2441 Child and Dependent Care Expenses that you sent the W-10 to the provider. You will still be entitled to claim the credit. Keep copies of any receipts, cancelled checks or other records showing how much you spend on child care expenses.


What is the deadline for filling out a W-10?

Tom Copeland

Erica - There is no deadline for filling out a
W-10. If you are going to initiate giving the parent a W-10 do it as soon as you can in January. If a parent is giving one to you, fill it out as soon as you can.

Alba Anders

When a parent/client pays me, I write out a receipt and give it to them. It is THEIR responsibility to keep track of their receipts through out the year for their tax records. My records for payments made to me, ARE simply my receipt book.

Tom Copeland

Alba - What you do is fine. However, if a parent doesn't add up her receipts properly, or she used another caregiver during the year, she may put down an amount, when claiming her child care tax credit, that does not match your number. In this case, it's possible that you will get audited because the IRS will assume that you didn't report all your income. By having the parent sign an end-of-year statement, this can reduce the chances that the parent will make a mistake or cheat.


For years I have been giving parents an end of year statement with my EIN number on it and their total paid. I have usually printed out two copies and had them sign mine as proof of receipt and as an understanding that they were agreeing to the total (although I do realize that they could still misrepresent the amount they paid to the IRS if they chose to).

I have a few parents that I do not have contact with presently and frankly don't think they will come to me to pick up their receipt. In the past for these past clients I have emailed them a .pdf copy (more unalterable) of their receipt and a statement in the email stating that if they do not agree with the total to notify me as soon as possible and to please email me back acknowledging receipt of the form. Is there anything else that i can do with these emails that must be sent out as far as having them "sign off" on them?

Tom Copeland

Nope, nothing else you can do. You are handling it perfectly.

sandi phillips

can the day care provider require you to pay for your day care end of year expense reciept. I have been a good customer and do not owe them money

Tom Copeland

Yes, a provider can charge a parent for taking the time to generate an end-of-year receipt. It's rare. As a parent, you can keep your own record of payments so you won't need such a receipt.


what if a parent refuses to sign the year end receipt?

Tom Copeland

That's okay. Keep your own records that show how much a parent paid. Your records will be better than the parents'.


I have a question..wen we do our taxes and if we take all of our receipts, do they really give us out money back?

Tom Copeland

You will only get money back from the IRS if you paid in more during the year than you owed in taxes.


If they childcare provider refuses to provide their infromation when given a W10 form, they will face a $50 fine. Does the parent have to report them to be subject to this fine? If so, how would the parent report this?

Tom Copeland

For a provider to be charged a $50 fine, the IRS would have to discover this. The parent could report this to the IRS by making a note on their Form 2441 that the provider refused to provide her ID number.


If a parent still owes me money at the end of the year and they want an end of the year report but refuse to pay their over due balance. What's best to do?

Tom Copeland

Tell the parent you won't give them a year-end report until they pay their balance. Since you are not required to give a year-end balance, this should work.


I had a parent that was with me in 2010 and half of 2011. Was caught up in payments and everything. In 2010 I gave her my EIN so she could do her taxes. However in 2011 instead of coming by to sign for her end of the year statement she filed and used my EIN and put a totally different amount down then what she really paid. The IRS said I didn't put down my correct amount so ended up changing everything. How should I have handled this? The parent paid in cash each time. Also, once you give your EIN out to parents and they file under that and has not even bought her child to you that year what do you do>

Tom Copeland

How did it end up with the IRS? Your records of parent payments should be enough to defend what you put on your tax return and the parent would have to prove she paid you what she put on her tax return. Other than asking the parent to sign an end-of-year receipt that you keep a copy of, there's nothing else you can do to protect yourself. In the end, your records that show parent payments will protect you against these situations.


It ended up with the IRS when she filed her income tax. All she put down was what she paid for child care and my EIN. Instead of putting down the 3 months she put down she paid for the whole year. So it made my income look higher then what I originally reported. If that makes sense. I keep track of what they pay in my Redleaf book and only make out end of the year statements.


I have provided each of my families with an end of year tax statement with all the required info. Three of these families each had 2 kids in the family in my care. One of the families is telling me they are required to give a total paid for each child seperately to their tax person and is requesting 2 seperate statements, one for each child instead of one statement with a combined total for both kids. Is this required or can I just give the one and combine the totals for both kids onto one statement?


You are not required to break out your receipts for two children, but there's no reason not to.

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