TurboTax FAQ
TurboTax FAQ
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Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit

Your Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit are calculated on Form 2441 if you hire someone to care for your disabled spouse or a dependent, and you report income from employment or self-employment on your tax return. You will need to meet certain eligibility requirements to take this credit. See Ten Things to Know About Child & Dependent Care Credit.

The credit is based on up to $3,000 in qualified expenses per dependent (with a maximum of $6,000) as long as:

  • You have taxable earned income, and
  • If filing married filing jointly (MFJ), your spouse also has taxable income (the smaller of the two incomes is used for the credit), and
  • You paid someone else to care for a child under age 13 for at least part of the year, disabled spouse or dependent, and
  • You paid the expenses so you (and your spouse if filing jointly) could work, look for work, or go to school full time.

TurboTax completes Form 2441 for you. In the TurboTax search box, enter child care credit and in the popup, click Jump to child care credit, then follow the interviews.

TIP 1: If you don't qualify and both taxpayers have income on a W-2 form, check to be sure each W-2 is assigned to the correct person.

TIP 2: If you have non-taxable combat pay, you can choose to include it as earned income for purposes of figuring your child and dependent care credit.

If you have a business with net losses on a Schedule C, the loss reduces or can eliminate your earned income. Earned income includes disability pay and strike benefits you report.

For more details about relatives, dependents, living apart and more, see IRS Pub 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

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