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Who Can Claim Child Care Expenses?

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We all love our children from the deepest part of our hearts. But we also live in an economy where it is financially helpful when both parents work. As a result, the constant worrying is always there about leaving your children at daycare and being at work.

It is not only mentally stressful but also financially expensive. But the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenue Québec recognize your hard work and sacrifice. Thus they have introduced the Child and Dependent Care Credit system to exempt you from certain taxes.

In this article, we will look more into the concept. By the end, you will learn whether you can claim childcare expenses for your circumstances or not.

Child and Dependent Care Credit 2023

The child and dependent care credit is an excellent scheme for many parents. If you are a parent who bears the cost of childcare, the dependent care benefits give you a tax break.

This tax credit for childcare expenses focuses more on helping working parents. However, if you are a taxpayer and a full-time student or unemployed for a part of a year, you can qualify for it.

If you are paying for your child’s daycare, babysitter, or summer camp, you can qualify for the tax credit on your taxes. However, you and your child need to meet certain requirements.

The tax credit you receive is up to 35% of up to $3,000 for a single child’s qualifying expenses. This also includes the maximum credit you will receive will be $1,050.

And if you are paying for children’s qualifying expenses, you can receive up to $2,100 credit. You can use a child and dependent care credit calculator to estimate the credit you can receive.

Purpose of the Child and Dependent Care Credit

Now, why do child and dependent care credit exist?

The purpose is to assist parents and guardians who are working and need to pay childcare expenses for their children. This gives the parents to manage their family expenses better.

However, the child and dependent care credit vary depending on the parents’ income. The credit mostly covers the child’s expenses or dependent care, so parents don’t have to worry about their children.

The idea of the credit is to reduce your income taxes amount. As a result, this can increase your fund and gives you more finances to raise your child.

Expenses that Qualify for Child and Dependent Care Credit

By now, you must have figured out that daycare expenses qualify for the child and dependent care credit. But there are more childcare expenses examples that you can look into. The IRS considers more than just the daycare expenses.

Hiring a babysitter or a licensed dependent care center to take care of your child while you are away qualified for the credit. While at work, you might have a cook, a housekeeper, or a maid to look after your child or dependent. These expenses are also considered for credit.

Another expense that qualifies for the credit is summer camp fees. Camps, where your child is involved in sports and other activities, are also considered for the credit. But you must remember that any overnight camp does not qualify for the child and dependent care credit.

If your child is under 13, any cost related to care provided before and after school is part of the credit. Finally, for a disabled dependent, nursing and home care costs also qualify for the credit.

Expenses that Don’t Qualify for Child and Dependent Care Credit

You cannot claim some expenses for the childcare credit, such as medical care, transportation, and clothing. Any educational and recreational costs are also not part of the credit scheme.

Finally, the employer you work under may sometimes reimburse the cost of childcare. You cannot claim childcare expense credit from the IRS if that is the case.

Check Also: Saskatoon Child Support Lawyer

Who Can Claim Child Care Expenses?

There are certain qualifications that you need to meet.

Firstly, you must have a child who is under 13 and needs care while you are at work.

Your spouse can claim if they are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves and the child. But in this case, the spouse must have lived with you for more than half of the year.

Even a person who was physically or mentally unable to care for themself and lived with you for more than half the year can claim the credit. However, there are certain factors to consider here too. That person must be dependent on you.

Or, that person would have been your dependent if they didn’t receive a gross income of $4,300. If the person who lived with you filed a joint return, that person also qualifies.

Finally, if you and your spouse file jointly and that person can claim you two as their dependent, this qualifies for the credit.

Who is a dependent?

A dependent is anyone other than your spouse and you. This person has an exemption in the service area. Also, the dependent person must be your child or qualifying relative. For 2021, a person would have depended on you if their gross income was less than $4,300.

Who is a qualifying child?

It might sound straightforward that a qualifying child is someone to who you gave birth. But that is not all there is. A child who has lived with you for more than half of the same year can also be your qualifying child.

Who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves?

There are many people around us in our family who cannot dress, clean, or feed themselves. These people are usually considered physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.

Also, people suffering from severe injuries require constant care and attention. They also fall under this category of dependencies.

Special Circumstances Considered by the IRS

The IRS has several exemptions to consider differences in our society. For example, the custodial parent in a divorced marriage can claim credit for childcare expenses.

A disabled adult needs a certain income level to qualify as a dependent. But if that person is your spouse, the income quota is waived. Also, your spouse would be considered an earner if they are a full-time student for a minimum of 5 months in a single tax year.

Even if you cannot claim an adult-dependent because of her excessive gross salary or because you or your spouse can be considered a dependent by another person, you can still claim the credit for the care of the impaired adult.


The child and dependent care credit is excellent support for working parents. You don’t have to worry about your children when you are away at work. As the IRS provides you with a tax credit, you can consider the best childcare services for your child without worrying about the expenses.

So, if you qualify for the credit, get an experienced lawyer and prepare for the claim. The benefit and support you deserve are just a few steps away.


Can both parents claim daycare expenses on taxes?

Typically, the spouse with the lowest net income is the one who claims childcare costs. The portion of childcare expenses each parent paid is allowable if the parents have joint custody and are separated.

Who can claim dependent care expenses?

Families with a total income lower than $150,000, especially those with low and moderate incomes, are supported by the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit. You will also need to be eligible for childcare expenses credit claim.

What qualifies for child and dependent care expenses?

The child and dependent care expenses are usually daycare fees, babysitter costs, and other housekeeping or maid costs for the child when parents are away for work. Other than that, summer or day camp costs also fall into the list of expenses.

Does the IRS verify childcare expenses?

Yes, the IRS verifies childcare expenses and household income. The IRS examines contracts, bank deposits, sign-in sheets, child attendance records, and other income documents when they validate the expenses.

How do I claim childcare expenses on my taxes?

The most popular way to determine your authorized amount of childcare expenses is by completing the Child Care Expense Deduction Form. The person or business must provide a receipt detailing the services rendered. If a person rendered the services, you would require that person's social security number. Remember that unclaimed costs cannot be carried over to a subsequent year.

How are child and dependent care credit different from the Canada child benefit?

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a monthly payment that is tax-free and given to qualifying families to help with the cost of rearing children under the age of 18. The child disability payments and any associated territory and provincial programs may be included in the CCB.