Who is a Qualifying Person for the Child and Dependent Care Credit?
For the purposes of the Child and Dependent Care Credit, a "Qualifying Person" is defined as one of the following:
- A child that was age 12 (or younger) for at least part of 2016 and who is also claimed as a dependent on your return
- Exception: See special rules for divorced or separated parents, below
- Your spouse, if s/he is unable to care for themself and lived in your home for at least 6 months during 2016
- Anybody who lived in your home for at least 6 months during 2016 and was unable to care for themselves, if they:
- Are claimed as a dependent on your return, or
- Could have been claimed as your dependent but weren't because their gross income was $4,000 or more, s/he filed a joint return, or you (or your jointly-filing spouse) could be claimed as a dependent on somebody else's 2016 return.
TurboTax will figure out if the person(s) for whom you provided care meet these requirements.
Special rules for children of parents who are divorced, separated, or living apart
The custodial parent (i.e., the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights in 2016) can treat the child as a Qualifying Person for this credit even if they don't claim the child as a dependent on their return. To qualify, the child:
- Must be age 12 (or younger) for at least part of 2016 or unable to care for themself and
- Received over half their support during 2016 from one or both parents, who are divorced under a decree of divorce, legally separated under a decree of separate maintenance or written separation agreement, or lived apart from July 1 through December 31 of 2016.
The noncustodial parent cannot treat the child as a Qualifying Person (and therefore cannot claim this credit) even if they are able to claim the child as a dependent.