Child Care, Dependent Care Tax Credit

Child and dependent care can be very expensive, but there is a federal tax credit to help with these costs. If you paid someone during 2021 to care for your child, dependent, or spouse so you could work, look for work, go to school, or because of a disability, then you may be able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Note: This tax credit is not the same as the Child Tax Credit - in fact, you may be able to claim both. Use the Child and Dependent Care Calculator - or CAREucator - tool below to see if you qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

As of October 17, 2022, you can no longer prepare and eFile 2021 Tax Returns. Instead, use these 2021 Tax Calculators and Forms to prepare your 2021 Taxes before you mail them to the IRS and/or state tax agency.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

This tax credit for daycare expenses is a nonrefundable credit, meaning it will not be part of your tax refund and will only pay any taxes owed. For example, if you owe $1,000 in federal taxes, but then claim this credit for $2,000, then you will effectively reduce your taxes to $0 and the remaining money will be eliminated.

Childcare Tax Credit - CAREucator Tool Learn more about this tax credit

2021 CAREucator
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

Can You Claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit?

Start the CAREucator


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Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
Is the person a U.S. citizen, or resident alien, or national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico with a valid SSN or ITIN or ATIN and born on or before December 31, 2021? More Qualifying Details
How is this person related to you? Relationship Details
Was the child under the age of 18 as of Dec. 31 of the tax year? Dependents and Age
Was Your Child:
  • - Under age 19?
  • - A student under age 24?
  • - Permanently or totally disabled at any age?
  • If any of the above are true, click on Yes below.
Did the child live with you for more than half of the year?
Did the child provide more than half of his or her own support for the year?
Did the child file a joint tax return?
Is the person a qualifying dependent of any other taxpayer?
Did the person live with you all year as a member of your household?
Was the person's gross income for the year
MORE than $4,300? Qualifying Relative Income
Did you provide more than half - 50% plus -
of the person's total support for the year? Support Details
Did you have earned income during the tax year? Earned Income Details
Did you pay expenses for the care of your dependent to allow you to work or look for work? Dependent Care Expense Details
Are you excluding or deducting at least $3,000 of dependent care benefits for this dependent?
Were your dependent care payments made to:
  • - Someone you or your spouse could claim as a dependent?
  • - Your spouse?
  • - The parent of your qualifying child who is under age 14?
  • - Your child who was under age 19 at the end of the tax year?
Select your Filing Status
Do you know the care provider’s name, address, and identifying number? Or if not, Did you make a reasonable effort to get this information? (See due diligence.)
Here are your results:
Is this person your dependent and can they be included on your Tax Return?
Does this person qualify for the Child Tax Credit, worth up to $3,600 per child?
Does this person qualify for the Credit for Other Dependents, worth up to $500 per person?
Can you claim the Dependent Care Credit for this person, worth up to $8,000?
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Start a current year return now on for more personalized results before you e-file your taxes.

After finding out if you qualify to claim this credit, prepare and e-file your current taxes on and we will help claim this tax credit and any other credits or tax deductions you may qualify for. Income Taxes are difficult, preparing them shouldn't be! eFileIT on