How Much Can I Deduct for Child and Dependent Care Expenses?

You may be able to claim a credit for expenses for child care or certain types of dependent care.
How much you can deduct for child care or dependent care depends on a few tax rules.

If you have paid someone else to care for your child under the age of 13 or for a dependent over that age that cannot care for themselves. The child must reside in your home for more than 6 months out of the year.

The following items need to be met to claim this child or dependent care tax credit:


  • There must be income during the year claiming the credit


  • The child and dependent care expenses must come from care provided while you were working or seeking work


  • The care provider cannot be a dependent on your return


  • You must be able to show who provided care


  • You must have at least one qualifying person that care was provided for during the year you are claiming the credit

    The amount of the credit

    The amount you receive will vary depending on your adjusted gross income. You can claim up to $3,000 in child or dependent care expenses for one qualifying person. If you have more than one qualifying person you can claim up to $6,000 in child care and dependent care expenses.

    If you receive any type of reimbursement for your child or dependent care expenses you must deduct this from your total expense. Some individuals receive child care benefits from their employers or some type of state assistance.

    To claim this credit you should use form 1040, 1040A, or 1040NR. You will not be able to claim this credit if you file using form 1040EZ or 1040NR-EZ.

    If you would like to learn more about child tax credits please visit TurboTax Online. TurboTax Online provides free tools to help you receive the most deductions and credits.