Tips on Claiming the Child and Dependent Care Credit

If someone has paid for the professional care of a disabled adult dependent, or if he/she has paid for childcare for a qualifying dependent child who was 12 years of age or younger, he/she is probably eligible to receive a significant tax credit – the Child and Dependent Care Credit. This tax credit can earn someone – dollar for dollar – up to 35 percent of the expense of the care he/she paid for, during the tax year.

If someone is claiming the credit for child care he/she paid, the child must be qualified as his/her dependent, and must be 12 or younger – or have physical or mental disabilities making it impossible for the child to care for him/herself if over the age of 12. If someone is claiming the credit for adult dependent care, he/she must be able to show that the adult is incapable of self-care. He/she must also be able to prove that the care provided allowed him/her to work (for income) or to seek employment. If someone’s employer provides dependent care benefits, the amount he/she claims for the credit must be reduced by the amount he/she received as an employment benefit.

To be eligible to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit, the qualifying child or adult dependent must have lived in someone’s home for over half the tax year, and someone must have paid over half of the expenses involved in maintaining a home for him or her. In some cases, with divorced parents, the non-custodial parent may have a right to claim a child as a dependent. In this case, the custodial parent may still claim the Child Care Credit, even without claiming the child as a dependent.

“It is necessary for the provider of the childcare or adult care services to meet specific qualifications, as well.” said spokesperson Michele Tyson “They may not be a dependent, and you must provide their information — name, business name (if they have one), address, and tax ID number (SSN or EIN) – on IRS Form 2441.”

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