Are You Deducting Your Outdoor Expenses?

With summer here, many family child care providers are working outside in their gardens, making home repairs, or doing general outdoor clean-up work.

Are any of the expenses associated with these activities deductible?

You are entitled to deduct all expenses that are “ordinary and necessary” to your business. Since you must maintain your home (including the outside of your home) to attract and retain clients, and to provide a safe, outdoor place for children to play, most outdoor expenses are at least partly deductible in your business.

These can include:


Cement work on a driveway or walkway around your home





Garage door opener

Gutters and drain pipes

House siding

Lawn mowing/maintenance service

Lawn sprinkler systme


Security system

Stair/deck railings

Storm or screen windows

Termite and other pest control

Tool shed

Yard tools (rake, shovel, wheelbarrow, etc.)

Not every outdoor expense would be deductible in your business. If you don’t use something in your business you can’t deduct it. This might include outdoor flood lights or a swimming pool (if you only care for infants).

The next time you are at your local garden store, hardware store or home store, save your receipts! It’s quite likely that at least part of the expense will be deductible.

If an item is used 100% for your business, deduct 100% of the cost. If it’s used for business and personal purposes, use your Time-Space Percentage. If it’s only used for personal purposes, don’t deduct any of it.

Tom Copeland –

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Record Keeping smallFor a comprehensive list of over 1,000 allowable business expenses, see my book Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide.

Categories: Deductions, Record Keeping & Taxes

3 replies

  1. I put in artificial turf at the cost of 7300.00. I would not have to have artificial turf if I didn’t have 14 children running on my lawn all day. Is this wholly deductible? We really don’t use the area much it’s strictly the play area for the day care for the most part.

    • Since you do use it some for personal purposes, I wouldn’t try to deduct 100% of the cost. Since the actual business use of the turf is probably a lot higher than your time-space%, you could estimate an actual business use % and use that to deduct the business portion. Track how many hours in a typical month the turf is used for business vs. personal use (using number of people x number of hours of personal and business use). You’d then have to depreciate the turf over 15 years as a land improvement. But, you can use the 50% bonus depreciation rule to deduct half the depreciation in the first year.

  2. Can I claim gravel for driveway where parents park and drive up to house?

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