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Child care expenses

My boyfriend and I have a child together. He claimed her on his taxes, since he is head of household. I pay for our daughters Daycare. How do I add those expenses if he claimed her on his taxes?

2 Replies
Expert Alumni

Child care expenses

Unfortunately, you can't. There is no splitting of benefits for a child. Whoever claims her as a dependent gets every benefit. Since he did not pay the expense, he is not entitled to the credit either.


You may be able to claim the child and dependent care credit if you paid expenses for the care of a qualifying individual to enable you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) to work or actively look for work.


See this link for more information. Child Care

Expert Alumni

Child care expenses

Even if one parent claims the child on his/her taxes, the other parent may be able claim the child for the Child and Dependent Care Credit without claiming the child as a dependent. Publication 503 from the IRS states the following:

Child of divorced or separated parents or parents living apart.

Even if you can't claim your child as a dependent, he or she is treated as your qualifying person if:

• The child was under age 13 or wasn't physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself;

• The child received over half of his or her support during the calendar year from one or both parents who are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, are separated under a written separation agreement, or lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the calendar year;

• The child was in the custody of one or both parents for more than half the year; and

• You were the child's custodial parent.


The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights in 2018. If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. For details and an exception for a parent who works at night, see Pub. 501.


The noncustodial parent can't treat the child as a qualifying person even if that parent is entitled to claim the child as a dependent under the special rules for a child of divorced or separated parents. 


If these conditions apply, you may still be able to claim the credit. Add the child as a dependent on your return, but be sure to answer the question YES that the other parent is claiming the child per your legal agreement. Additionally, do not claim the child for Head of Household status. Then, under the Deductions & Credits menu, choose You and Your Family, and click Start/Revisit next to Child and Dependent Care Credit to enter the child care information.


Publication 503

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