5 Summer Activities That Can Affect Your Tax Return

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Host opening her front door to welcome guests
Photoroyalty / Shutterstock.com

Beach weddings, math camps and vacation rentals are synonymous with summer. And without school in session, summer is often a perfect time for some people to start a new business or take on a part-time job to bring in some extra cash, too.

Just remember that the IRS might enjoy hearing about your summer activities, too. They could affect your federal income tax return for better or for worse, such as by raising your tax bill or qualifying you for a tax credit.

Keep reading to find out how your own summertime activities might affect your tax return.

Sending the kids to summer camp

Girl at camp
Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock.com

As most parents and guardians know, planning and even paying for your children’s summer camp starts early in the year. If you send your child to camp so that you can continue to work during the time that school is out, you might be eligible to claim a credit on your tax return if your dependent child is under the age of 13. It’s called the Child and Dependent Care Credit, and you can learn more about it on the IRS website.

Getting married

Newly married couple dancing at their wedding
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Summer month is a popular time of year to get married. While you can’t typically deduct the cost of your wedding, getting hitched can affect your federal tax return. If you are married by the end of the tax year (Dec. 31), you will have the option to use the tax filing status of married filing jointly. Filing together may lower your tax bill.

Use this IRS checklist before you file your next tax return together, and check out “7 Times When Married Couples Should File Taxes Separately” to learn about exceptions to the general rule that filing jointly benefits couples.

Getting a part-time job

Starbucks workers
Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

Summer marks the start of paid internships and part-time jobs for high-school and college students of all ages. Even if you only work a few short months, you will have to report your income to the IRS the next tax season if the amount exceeds the minimum required to file a tax return.

The company where you interned or the employer you worked for part-time should send you a Form W-2 at the start of the next tax season. A W-2 reports how much you made during the time you worked and how much tax, if any, was withheld from your pay.

Taking on a side hustle

Man delivering a grocery order
Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock.com

Driving for delivery services like DoorDash or Uber is a popular way to pick up some extra cash in your free time. Or, if you start your own Etsy shop or other business over the summer, you also will need to report any money you make from your side hustle on your next tax return.

Don’t forget to track such expenses as mileage. When you have a side hustle, the IRS considers you self-employed, so you will be able to reduce your taxable income if you can claim qualifying business-related expenses. Check out “6 Things Every Self-Employed Worker Should Know About Taxes” to learn more about what you can do to prepare for your next tax return.

Renting a room to travelers

woman opening up her home
maroke / Shutterstock.com

If you decide to rent out your home while you’re traveling for the summer, or you rent out your spare room to other travelers, you might need to report the money you receive on your tax return.

If it’s less than 15 days a year, the IRS will not require you to pay tax on the money you make. However, if you rent out your home or that extra bedroom for a longer period of time, you will need to report the money you make on a special attachment to your next tax return, called a Schedule E.

Additionally, check with your county and state to see if there are any local or state taxes or regulations you may need to consider when renting out your residence.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.