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Dependent Care Credit

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Child and Dependent Care Credit

There’s no denying that raising a child is costly and comes with many responsibilities. But thanks to the American Rescue Plan, you might be eligible for a credit to help offset some of the costs related to raising a child. President Biden introduced the American Rescue Plan in March of 2021, which changed the child and dependent care credit requirements, making more families eligible for the credit. So if you paid someone to watch over your kids while you worked or looked for a job, you might be eligible to take some childcare tax credits. The tax credit isn’t new and was started in the 1970s to help working families with the costs of childcare, after-school care and summer camps. This dependent care tax credit differs from the child tax credit and helps families cover childcare costs for children under the age of 13 or any adult dependents. But there’s a difference between a tax credit vs. tax deduction. Deductions reduce your income amount before taxes whereas credits reduce the amount of taxes you owe or can increase your tax refund. The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2441 form, which is where you report your child and dependent expenses on your tax return. Let’s take a look at Form 2441:
dependent-care-credit
Taxes are a complex topic, but with the right information, you can score tax credits that will save you a significant amount of money. Learn more about the dependent care tax credit, eligibility requirements and how to file Form 2441.

Table of contents

Requirements for the Child and Dependent Care Credit...Read more

Child qualifications for the dependent care credit 2022...Read more

Child dependent care credit and federal benefits...Read more

Child care tax credit 2022 vs. 2021...Read more

Child and dependent care credit phase out...Read more

What is the 2441 form?...Read more

Form 2441 instructions...Read more

Where to get the 2441 form and how to file it...Read more

Requirements for the Child and Dependent Care Credit

Certain requirements exist if you want to claim the child care tax credit. To claim the child care tax credit, you must:
Requirements for the Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you’re married, you and your spouse must earn some income during the year. However, if one spouse is studying as a full-time student or is disabled, the IRS makes an exception by assigning a certain income to the spouse. If you have one child, the income amount is $250, and if you have more than one child, the income amount is $500. You might be thinking you’re doomed if you didn’t file a joint tax return. Don’t fret; you may still qualify for the child care tax credit if your spouse did not live in your house in the last six months of the tax year, and you paid more than half the cost for the upkeep of the home. When it comes to the person providing the care, they can’t be your spouse or someone you claim as your dependent. If you like to save money and appoint your child as the babysitter, the child must be 19 or older and you can’t claim them as a dependent on your tax return.

Quick tip

The credit is fully refundable, so you’ll get a refund if your credit exceeds your owed taxes

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Child qualifications for the dependent care credit 2022

Not only are there requirements for the parents, but the child must also meet certain requirements.

Age

Relationship

Citizen

Dependent

Resident

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Child dependent care credit and federal benefits

The child and dependent care credit is not considered income. So receiving the credit will not impact other federal benefits you might receive, such as Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), unemployment benefits, public housing, SSI, SSDI, etc.

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Child care tax credit 2022 vs. 2021

The 2021 tax year resulted in the expansion of the child dependent care credit. More families were eligible for the credit than ever before. The maximum expenses eligible for the credit were $8,000 for one child and $16,000 for more than one child. Plus, you could earn more tax savings by deducting up to 50% of your childcare expenses depending on how much you make, meaning you could score a credit of $4,000 for one child and $8,000 for two or more. The child care tax credit 2022 reverts back to the credit rates before 2021. The maximum expenses eligible for the child care credit 2022 is $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more. You can also deduct up to 35% of your expenses, depending on your income, meaning a maximum credit of $1,050 for one child and $2,100 for two or more children.

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Child and dependent care credit phase out

For 2021 taxes, the credit amount begins to phase out when your income or household adjusted gross income (AGI) hits %125,000 and decreases by 50% if you make between $125,000 and $183,000. If you make between $183,000 and $400,000, it decreases to 20%, and making $438,000 or more will completely phase it out.

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What is the 2441 form?

Form 2241, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, is issued by the IRS to report child and dependent care expenses. You’ll use this form to figure out how much of your child care expenses may be eligible for a tax credit. Filling out the 2441 form doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the credit, but it does help you understand the credit amount you could receive if you qualify. The 2441 form is filed along with your tax return and attached to your Form 1040.

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Form 2441 instructions

Whether you use a CPA or file your own tax return, it’s important to understand how Form 2441 works.
Form 2441 instructions

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Where to get the 2441 form and how to file it

You have two options when it comes to filing Form 2441: e-filing or mailing the paper form. If you choose to mail your form, you’ll first need to get a copy of the form on the IRS’ website. After printing and filling out the form, you’ll mail it along with Form 1040. The mailing address depends on your location. So, be sure to check the IRS’ website for an accurate mailing address. If you choose to use a tax platform, you’ll have the option to file an electronic copy of this form along with Form 1040. Tax form 2441 will not be sent to you by the childcare provider, so it’s up to you to apply for the credit and fill out the tax form. You might be eligible for additional credits including the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Credit, Education Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit or the EV Tax Credit.

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What’s FlyFin?

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