Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit 

What is the child and dependent care tax credit?One of the most difficult financial burdens, when you have young children, is paying for dependent care, but some good news is that there are some relief options when it comes time to file your taxes.

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What is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit?

The child and dependent care tax credit is available for almost anyone who has a dependent and is working.

The dependent care tax credit is different than the child tax credit, and this article is intended to help you understand how to claim the childcare tax credit.

How do I Qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit?

How to qualify for the dependent and child care credit.

To qualify:

You must have at least one dependent child or adult who cannot provide their own care. You also must be working and receiving an income to qualify for this tax credit.

If you have a spouse, they must also be working or unable to provide care for the dependent at home (for example, if they are on disability).

Generally, the child must be your dependent and under the age of 13. However, there are specific circumstances for children and adults older than 13 to be eligible for the credit.

The child must also live with you at least half the year in the case where custody is split between parents or guardians.How much is the child care credit worth?

The daycare center must also be a qualifying provider for the credit. You do not qualify if you pay your adult children to supervise your kids during the day.

For specific qualification scenarios and questions, it is always best to check the IRS’s official website ( or speak with a tax professional.

How Much is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Worth?

It can be tricky to calculate exactly how much the tax credit will be worth when it comes time to file your taxes. However, the basic starting point is that you get up to $3000 for one dependent and up to $6000 for having multiple dependents in dependent care.

You do not get that full amount back as a credit, however. Instead, a sliding scale based on your adjusted income will provide a percentage of this amount that gets credited back on your taxes.

For example, let us also assume that you have two dependents living with you for the entire year, and you spent $4800 on dependent care through the calendar year. You could expect a $1440 tax credit on your return based on these rough parameters.

This is a significant credit, which is different than a tax deduction. Essentially, this money will go back into your pocket or directly reduce the amount of taxes you owe for the year.

Can I Claim Child and Dependent Care if I Have a Higher Income?

Learn how to claim the child care credit>One of the nice things about the child and dependent care tax credit is that it does not disappear with higher incomes.

So while the percentage is less, this credit is designed with working families in mind, and you can still get a good amount of the expenses you pay for dependent care back in your tax refund.

Claim Your Credit With Online Tax Filing

Today's online tax filing is up to date with the latest tax forms, including the new child care and dependent tax deductions and credits. You can easily claim the dependent and child care tax credit.

Online filing services can import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.