To claim a credit for child /dependent care expenses, both spouses must have earned income. However, there is an exception to the rule if you or your spouse was a full time student or was disabled.
Full Time Student
You (or your spouse) are considered a full time student if you were enrolled at a school as a full time student for a portion of each month of 5 calendar months during the year.
- Months do not need to be consecutive.
- School is not on-the -job training course, correspondence school or internet only school
You (or your spouse) are considered disabled if you could not physically or mentally take care of yourself.
Earned Income calculation
For each month or partial month you or your spouse was a student or was disabled, you are considered to have worked and earned income for the purpose of this credit. The earned income for each month is considered to be at least $250 ($500 if more than one qualifying person was cared for). Multiply $250 (or $500 if more than one qualifying child) by the number of months you qualify for the exception. This is the "Additional Income" for purposes of this credit.
Both Spouses Full Time Students or Disabled
If both you and your spouse was either disabled or a fulltime student, only one of you can claim the earned income exception under these rules.
Community Property Rules
If filing jointly, disregard community property laws determining the earned income of an individual.