Tom Copeland, JD


Tom Copeland is the nation’s leading expert on the business of family child care. He is an independent consultant, trainer, author, and family child care advocate. 

From 1981 – 2009 Tom worked for Resources for Child Caring (RCC) in St. Paul, Minnesota. From 1992 - 2008 he was director of Redleaf National Institute, the national center for the business of family child care, a division of RCC. Since 2009 he has been an independent consultant and has contracted with a number of organizations including the National Association for Family Child Care.

Tom offers a variety of workshops and webinars on business issues for family child care providers, trainers, and tax preparers. Since 1981 he has helped hundreds of thousands of people understand complex business and tax issues.

 In 2004 he won the Advocate of the Year Award from the National Association for Family Child Care. In 1998 he won the Child Care Advocate of the Year award from the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association.  He has represented numerous child care providers in IRS audits and has won five US Tax Court cases.

A licensed attorney, Tom authored two proposals, adopted by the IRS that significantly reduced the record keeping requirements of child care providers.  The first IRS regulation reduced the paperwork for providers who hire part-time employees. The second one allowed family child care providers to use a standard meal allowance rate to claim food expenses.

He is the author of the following books:

  • Family Child Care Record Keeping Guide
  • The Family Child Care Tax Workbook and Organizer
  • Family Child Care Tax Companion
  • Family Child Care Money Management and Retirement Guide
  • Family Child Care Business Planning Guide
  • Family Child Care Marketing Guide:  How to Build Enrollment and Promote Your Business as a Child Care Professional
  • Family Child Care Legal and Insurance Guide: How to Reduce the Risks of Running Your Business
  • Family Child Care Contracts and Policies:  How to Be Businesslike in a Caring Profession
  • Family Child Care Audit Manual:  Strategies for Protecting Yours Business in an IRS Audit

 Tax journal articles:

  • "Family Child Care Tax Issues", 2002 National Income Tax Workbook, Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation
  • "The Unique Business of Family Child Care", EA Journal, Spring 96
  • "Market Your Tax Services to Family Child Care Providers", EA Journal, Jan/Feb 97
  • "How to Use Form 3115 to Deduct Previously Unclaimed Depreciation", Tax Practitioners Journal, Spring 1997

Tom graduated from Macalester College (BA) in 1972 and from William Mitchell College of Law (JD) in 1980.

1740 Hampshire Court, St. Paul, MN 55116; 651-280-5991;;

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PO Box 8002, Appleton, WI 54912-8002 Phone: 800.558.3402 Fax: 800.747.0001

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