You can still attempt to claim the expense. You would need to leave the Social Security field blank and print your return; you can’t e-file in the situation. Write “refused“ in the space for the Social Security number of the caregiver informed 2441. Sign the return, and mail it to the IRS with a written statement attached that explains that you could not obtain the Social Security number because the caregiver passed away. Give the caregiver‘s name, address, and any other information you know about them.
The IRS will evaluate the claim and decide whether or not to give you the credit or qualified use of the dependent care FSA. You are supposed to give the caregiver a form W 10 to obtain their Social Security number before you start paying them for care, and not wait until tax season. So the IRS may not honor your claim. But on the other hand, they might honor the claim anyway. It will take longer since it will be filed by mail instead of e-filed.
Also note that if you did have a dependent care flexible spending account at work, it is recorded in box 10 of your W-2 and you must include form 2441 on your tax return. Every time you delete it, it will be re-created. If you indicate in the interview that you had no qualifying caregiver but you received reimbursements, that money will be added back to your taxable income. TurboTax won’t allow you to e-file without form 2441 if you have a dollar amount in box 10 of your W-2.