The Dependent Care Credit (DCC) is for care expenses you paid during the tax year for qualifying dependents. So, who qualifies for the DCC and how do you know if you can claim it?
To claim this credit, you have to have paid care expenses for children who are younger than 13, your disabled spouse, or other dependents who are mentally or physically unable to care for themselves. You’ll only be able to deduct expenses that you paid for the care of these people while you were at work or out looking for work. In other words, you can’t claim dependent care expenses you paid so you can go to dinner and a movie.
As far as care providers go, you can’t pay the expenses to someone who is your spouse, is another one of your dependents or is a parent of the dependent they are caring for. You’ll have to provide your care provider information to claim this credit (including their SSN or EIN) and they should claim the money you paid them as income on their own tax return.
If you are filing Married filing Separately, you can’t claim this credit. If you don’t have earned income, you normally can’t claim this credit, either. However, there are special exceptions if you’re disabled or a full time student.