Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses

Child and Dependent Care Credit


The child and dependent care credit is a nonrefundable credit that allows taxpayers to reduce their tax liability by a percentage of their child and dependent care expenses. The credit may be claimed by taxpayers who, in order to work or look for work, pay someone to care for their qualifying:

  • Dependent child under the age of 13
  • Spouse who is unable to care for him- or herself
  • Dependents who are unable to care for themselves

The credit can range from 20% to 35% of a taxpayer's qualifying child or dependent care expenses. The percentage is based on the taxpayer's earned income and adjusted gross income. The amount of the credit cannot be more than the amount of income tax on the return; that is, it can reduce an individual's tax to $0, but it cannot result in a refund.

Household members and dependent information section of intake and interview sheet.