If your dependent care expenses are not showing up, check to make sure they were entered correctly. You must enter your Dependent Care Expenses in both the Provider and Qualifying Dependent screens of the Credit section of the program.
To do this, you will take the following steps:
- Federal Section
- Select My Forms
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- You will enter the provider information in the appropriate menu item and then you will select the Qualifying Person(s) section that applies to you.
Please allocate the total expenses entered in the Provider section to each Dependent and Continue to save your information.
Do you have any qualifying children?
For you to receive the credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses, you must list a qualifying person for which the expenses were paid. A qualifying person is:
- Your qualifying child who is your dependent and who was under age 13 when the care was provided,
- Your spouse who was not physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself and lived with you for more than half the year, or
- A person who was not physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself, lived with you for more than half the year, and either: (a) was your dependent, or (b) would have been your dependent except that: (i) he or she received gross income of $4,000 or more, (ii) he or she filed a joint return, or (iii) you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent on someone else's current year tax return.
If the person for whom you paid the expenses does not fit into one of the categories above, their expenses do not qualify for the credit. If the person for whom you paid the expenses DOES qualify and you have entered their expenses in both sections (discussed above), verify that you have entered the dependent information (i.e. birthday, indicated disabled, etc.) correctly. For example: If the date of birth gets entered incorrectly indicating that the child is over 13 years old, this would indicate during the calculations that this person does not qualify and you would not receive the credit.
Do both spouses have earned income?
To receive the credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses, the expenses had to have been paid for care to be provided so that you (and your spouse, if filing jointly) could work or look for work. If both spouses do not show "earned income" (W-2's, business income, etc.), you generally cannot claim the credit. However, if one spouse was a student or was disabled, you may still be eligible for the credit. If one of these two exceptions may apply, click here for more information. If you both have earned income and the credit is not calculating, check the appropriate income entry (W-2, Schedule C, etc.) and be sure that the income is indicated as being for the correct person (Taxpayer or Spouse).
For example, if you and your spouse have W-2s, but it was indicated accidentally that both W-2s were for the Taxpayer on the account, this would reflect that the Spouse did NOT have income. Because it was not listed that the Spouse had a W-2, the information entered in the account would reflect that only one spouse had earned income. Because both spouses are not shown as having income, the credit would not calculate.
Is your filing status married filing separately?
Beginning in 2018, if you are married filing separate and meet certain requirements, you can claim the Child Care Credit. You are able to claim the credit if:
- You lived apart from your spouse during the last 6 months of the year
- Your home was the qualifying person's main home for more than half of the year
- You paid for more than half of the cost of keeping up that home for the year
Do you have a tax liability?
The credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses is a nonrefundable credit. Nonrefundable credits can only be claimed to reduce the amount of tax you owe based on your taxable income.
For additional information pertaining to the Child and Dependent Care Expenses, please click here.
This article is intended for users who are attempting to take the Credit for Dependent Care Expenses, but it does not appear to be calculating on their return. If you did not pay for child care expenses, no credit should be calculating.