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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Childcare Credit, Other Credits - Child and Dependent Care Credit & Flexible Benefit Plans

  1. My spouse and I both work and are eligible for the child and dependent care credit. Can I include my 5 year-old son's private kindergarten tuition as a qualified expense on Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses?
  2. Why does my Form W-2 report a benefit of $3,000 in box 10 when my employer set aside $3,000 in wages for dependent care under a dependent care assistance plan?
  3. My babysitter refused to provide me with her social security number. Can I still claim the amount I paid her for childcare while I worked? If so, how do I claim these childcare expenses on my tax return?
  4. I'm thinking of having a family member babysit for my two-year old child while I work. Can I claim this cost as a childcare expense even though my family member isn't a registered daycare provider? Who's responsible for paying employment taxes on the money I pay for this care?
  5. Do daycare payments for an elderly person qualify for the child and dependent care credit?

Rev. date: 11/14/2016

My spouse and I both work and are eligible for the child and dependent care credit. Can I include my 5 year-old son's private kindergarten tuition as a qualified expense on Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses?

No, tuition for kindergarten isn't a qualifying expense for the child and dependent care credit because expenses to attend kindergarten or a higher grade aren't expenses for the child's care.
However, the expense for a before- or after-school care program of a child in kindergarten or a higher grade may qualify, even though the expense of school tuition doesn't qualify.

Rev. date: 11/14/2016

Why does my Form W-2 report a benefit of $3,000 in box 10 when my employer set aside $3,000 in wages for dependent care under a dependent care assistance plan?

When you choose to participate in a dependent care assistance program through your employer, your employer has to report that value in box 10 of your Form W-2. This type of plan is a voluntary agreement to reduce your salary in return for an employer-provided fringe benefit.
You're receiving a tax benefit because under the plan, you're not paying taxes on the money set aside to pay for the dependent care.
You must complete and attach Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, to your tax return.

Rev. date: 11/14/2016

My babysitter refused to provide me with her social security number. Can I still claim the amount I paid her for childcare while I worked? If so, how do I claim these childcare expenses on my tax return?

Yes, you can still claim the child and dependent care credit when you're missing the provider's social security number or other taxpayer identification number by demonstrating due diligence in attempting to secure this information.
Claim the childcare expenses on Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, and provide the care provider's information you have available (such as name and address). Write "See Attached Statement" in the columns missing information. Explain on the attached statement that you requested the provider's identifying number, but the provider didn't give it to you. This statement supports use of due diligence in trying to secure the identifying information for the claim.

Rev. date: 11/14/2016

I'm thinking of having a family member babysit for my two-year old child while I work. Can I claim this cost as a childcare expense even though my family member isn't a registered daycare provider? Who's responsible for paying employment taxes on the money I pay for this care?

These payments may be qualified childcare expenses if the family member babysitting isn't your spouse, the parent of the child, your dependent, or your child under age 19, and if you otherwise qualify to claim the child and dependent care credit.

Who's responsible for taxes on these payments depends on whether your family member is your employee or is self-employed (an independent contractor).

Rev. date: 11/14/2016

Do daycare payments for an elderly person qualify for the child and dependent care credit?

Daycare payments for an elderly person may qualify as dependent care expenses if the person is incapable of self-care, lives with you for more than one-half of the tax year, and is either your spouse or a dependent. Additional requirements apply if the services are provided outside your household.