Child Care Costs Matter At Tax Time

Paying for someone else to look after your child while you work can get costly. Thankfully, there’s a tax credit that can help you recover some of those costs. The Child and Dependent Care Credit can be claimed by taxpayers who paid a caretaker as responsible for their child under the age of 13, or a spouse or other dependent who is rendered unable of self-care. The caretaker must supply you with their taxpayer ID, as you will need it for your tax forms.

To claim the credit, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You file jointly with your spouse if married
  • You (and your spouse in cases of marriage) were actively earning income or looking for work for five or more months throughout the year (full-time students also qualify)
  • The dependent being cared for lives in your residence for over half of the tax year

The credit cannot be claimed if you pay another dependent to care for your child, meaning if you have an older sibling watch a child under 13, you can’t claim the credit. You also aren’t eligible to claim the credit if you paid the child’s parent or your own spouse to provide care while you worked.