You can take the credit or the exclusion if all five of the following apply.
- Your filing status is single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, or married filing jointly. But see below.
- The care was provided so you (and your spouse if filing jointly) could work or look for work. However, if you did not find a job and have no earned income for the year, you cannot take the credit or the exclusion. But if your spouse was a student or disabled, see the instructions for line 5.Note.(p2) Child support payments received by you are not included in your gross income and are not considered as earned income for figuring this credit.
- The care must be for one or more qualifying persons.
- The person who provided the care was not your spouse, the parent of your qualifying child, or a person whom you can claim as a dependent. If your child provided the care, he or she must have been age 19 or older by the end of 2008 and he or she cannot be your dependent.
- You report the required information about the care provider on line 1 and, if taking the credit, the information about the qualifying person on line 2.
If your filing status is married filing separately and all of the following apply, you are considered unmarried for purposes of figuring the credit and the exclusion on Schedule 2.
- You lived apart from your spouse during the last 6 months of 2008,
- The qualifying person lived in your home more than half of 2008, and
- You provided over half the cost of keeping up your home.
If you meet all the requirements to be treated as unmarried and meet items 2 through 5 listed earlier, you can take the credit or the exclusion. If you do not meet all the requirements to be treated as unmarried, you cannot take the credit. However, you can take the exclusion if you meet items 2 through 5.