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

Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses

Five Eligibility Tests

Work-Related Expense Test


Work-Related Expense Test

Did you pay the expenses to allow you to work or look for work?

If NO, You CANNOT claim the child and dependent care credit.

If YES, go to the next work-related expense test question.

The third test is the work-related expense test. Expenses are considered work-related only if both of the following are true:

  • The expenses allow the taxpayer (and spouse if married) to work or look for work, and
  • The expenses are for a qualifying person's care, and to provide for that person's well-being and protection

For married taxpayers, generally both must work or be looking for work. Taxpayers' spouses are treated as working during any month the spouses were full-time students or were unable to take care of themselves.

Working woman bringing child to daycare center.