The Child and Dependent Tax Credit in America


The Child and Dependent Tax Credit in America

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit reimburses you if you pay for childcare or care for a dependent. When you claim this deduction while filing your tax returns, you can reduce your taxes and potentially increase your refund.


Who is eligible?

To be eligible for tax relief to sponsor a child and dependent, you must answer “yes” to these questions:


Do you pay a person or organization to care for your dependents to allow you (and your spouse, if you file a joint tax return) to work or look for work? Eligible dependents are:

  • a child under 13 at the time of receiving care.
  • A spouse or dependent who cannot take care of himself, physically or mentally.
  • Does your dependent live with you for more than half of the tax year?
  • Do you (and your spouse if you file a joint tax return) earn an income? This income may be derived from wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee funds, or profits from self-employment.
  • Is the filing of a private tax return for a single person, a joint tax return for a married person, the head of a household, or a widower eligible to support a child?
  • If you are married, do you and your spouse work outside the home?


What you need to apply

To claim the credit, you will need to prove the following for all of the people on the tax return:

  1. Identity and age: such as photo ID, driver's license, IDNYC, or naturalization certificate.
  2. Citizenship or immigration status: such as a birth certificate or US passport.
  3. Your earned and unearned income (if any): such as your last paycheck, unemployment benefits statement, retirement correspondence, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
  4. Dependency care cost: The amount of money you pay to care for your child or dependent person.
  5. The caregiver's name, address, and identification number (employee identification number or Social Security number).



How to apply

You will need this letter when you file your tax return:

Child and Dependent Care Expenses Form: Form 2441.

US individual income tax return: Form 1040 or US non-resident income tax return: Form 1040NR.


If you earn $72,000 or less in 2021, you can file your tax returns for free with NYC Free Tax Prep. VITA/TCE volunteer preparers approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are available to assist you with your filing.


Prepare your tax return by default: A preparer can help you submit your tax return during a 60-90 minute virtual call.


Self-help preparation: Complete your tax return on your own. One of the producers will be available by phone or email to answer your questions.


Tax document delivery service: Here you submit your tax documents and receive the completed tax return later.


Attend in person: You can prepare your tax returns for free at one of the tax return preparation sites near you.

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