If you paid someone to care for a qualifying individual so you (and your spouse if you are married) could work or look for work, you may be able to claim the credit for child and dependent care expenses. If you are married, both you and your spouse must have earned income, unless one spouse was either a full-time student or was physically or mentally incapable of self-care. The expenses you paid must have been for the care of one or more of the following qualifying individuals:
Your dependent, who was under the age of 13 when care was provided and for whom you can claim an exemption. (There is an exception to the exemption rule for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents in Publication 503 available on the IRS web site.)
Your spouse who is mentally or physically not able to care for himself or herself; or
Your dependent who was physically or mentally not able to care for himself or herself, and for whom you can claim an exemption (or could claim an exemption except the person had $3,900 or more of gross income). In addition to the conditions just described to take the credit, you must meet all the following conditions:
The qualifying person must have lived with you in a home kept up by you (and your spouse, if you are married).
You must provide the taxpayer identification number (usually the social security number of the qualifying person.)
Your filing status must be a status other than married filing separate. (You must file a joint return if you are married.)
The payments for care cannot be paid to someone you can claim as your dependent, or to your child who is under age 19, or who you can claim as a dependent.
You must report the name, address, and taxpayer identification number (either the social security number or the employer identification number) of the care provider on your return. You can use Form W-10, Dependent Care Provider's Identification and Certification, to request this information from the care provider.
In addition, if you pay someone to look after your dependent or spouse in your home, you may be a household employer. If you are, you may have to withhold and pay social security and Medicare tax and pay federal unemployment tax and file a Schedule H. You can find more detailed information about this on the IRS web site in Publication 926. Please note that we do not support this form.
*Note: If you have child or dependent care benefits reported in box 10 of your W-2 this amount will be pulled forward from the information you enter on your W-2. When completing the Form 2441 information only enter the amount you paid in excess of the dependent care benefits you received. This amount total can be a maximum of $6000 for two children/dependents or $3000 for one child/dependent.
For more information on Child and Dependent Care Credit, see instructions for Form 2441.