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Child and Dependent Care Credit Benefits

Program Description

The Child and Dependent Care Credit program can reduce your tax by claiming the credit for child and dependent care expenses on your federal income tax return.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must have paid for the care of a qualifying individual so that you (and your spouse if you are married) could work or look for work. A qualifying individual for the Child and Dependent Care Credit is:
  • Your dependent who is under age 13 when the care is provided,
  • Your spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care and lived with you for more than half the year, or
  • A person who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, lived with you for more than half the year and either: (i) is your dependent; or (ii) could have been your dependent except that he or she is over the gross income limit or files a joint return, or you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) could have been claimed on another taxpayer’s return.
  • An individual is physically or mentally incapable of self-care if, as a result of a physical or mental defect, the individual is incapable of caring for his or her hygiene or nutritional needs, or requires the full-time attention of another person for the individual's own safety or the safety of others.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

No application is needed to use this program. However, you must file your taxes using the guidelines in Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

Program Contact Information

For more information, view Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, www.irs.gov/forms.