Child and Dependent Care Credit, Definition(s) of

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To qualify for the Dependent Care Tax Credit, the taxpayer must incur child care expenses in order to find or keep a job. Married couples may not claim this credit if a parent is available - i.e., is not employed or in school - to care for the child or children” (p. 607) (Kelly).

“If you paid someone to care for a child or a dependent so you could work, you may be able to reduce your tax by claiming the credit for child and dependent care expenses on your federal income tax return, according to the IRS. This credit is available to people who, in order to work or to look for work, have to pay for child care services for dependents under age 13. The credit is also available if you paid for care of a spouse or a dependent of any age who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

The credit is a percentage, based on your adjusted gross income, of the amount of work-related child and dependent care expenses you paid to a care provider. The credit can range from 20 to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending upon your income” (IRS).

Glossary Source: 

Kelly, E.L. (2003). The strange history of employer-sponsored child care: Interested actors, uncertainty, and the transformation of law in organizational fields. American Journal of Sociology, 109(3), 606-649.

Internal Revenue Service (2005). Child and dependent care credit: Tax tip 2005-47. Retrieved April 3, 2005.