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Thanks so much, Ira!

I think the additional restrictions related to religious and private schools is based on the fact that primary education is mandatory and your child is entitled to "free" education in a public school. Therefore any additional expense is purely personal in nature.

Interesting. I was thinking of camp as equivalent to childcare, so I figured it fell under the "nonprofit daycare centers" part of the example. (And for the record, I won't treat as a charitable donation anything that gets reimbursed through my DCRA or that I use for the dependent care credit.)

you could ask the camp for a letter from their attorney/tax advisor citing the basis for their position. You might not get the letter, but you might.

I actually started out asking the camp for a tax receipt, which was not automatically generated when I signed up online. My interactions with them suggest that they are not really on the ball here. The receipt didn't mention the 60% - it just "acknowledges your donation of XX in the form of a registration fee for XX camp." The letter was attached to an email noting that only 60% was tax deductible.

When I asked for some substantiation of the 60%, I got this: "The 60/40 ratio was discussed with our tax accountants who informed us that the when a customer spends over $75 AND they receive something for part of the donation (in our case, they receive classes) they can receive a tax deduction for the portion that covers the cost of the cost of the class. So 60% is class/camp cost and the 40% accounts for profits and general management and expenses that are not class specific."

I suspect something got lost in translation - hopefully the tax folks know what they're doing, and it's just the organization's staff that doesn't understand what's going on. But yikes. This was the point where I came here to ask if the partial deductibility was even plausible, before engaging with them further.

- Parkway
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