Question

If I pay a caregiver to take care of my spouse who is not well — basically a disabled spouse caregiver — am I able to claim a dependent care credit?

Answer

Here’s what you’ll need to do before you claim the credit:

  • Make sure your spouse qualifies. Both of these must be true:
    • He or she is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself.
    • He or she lived in the same main home as you for more than half the year.
  • Choose your filing status — you can’t use married filing separately.
  • Find out the following information about the person who provided care to your disabled spouse:
    • Legal name
    • Address
    • Taxpayer identification number, like a Social Security number (SSN)

Use these expenses to figure the dependent care credit:

  • The cost of a household employee, like your caregiver. The services the employee provides must be at least partly for the well-being and protection of your spouse.
  • Taxes paid on the wages for your household employee

Claim the credit on Form 2441. The amount of the dependent care credit is limited to 35% of the total expenses you incurred so you could work or look for work. The percentage decreases by 1% for each $2,000 of your adjusted gross income (AGI) that’s more than $15,000. However, the percentage won’t go lower than 20%.

  • For one dependent, the maximum amount of expense that can be claimed for the credit is $3,000. For two or more dependents, you may claim up to $6,000 in expenses

 

Related Topics

Related Resources

What Is Virtual Tax Preparation?

Virtual tax preparations let you complete your taxes online from the comfort of your home. Find out how easy remote tax preparations can be at H&R Block.

Is TurboTax Live the Best Virtual Tax Prep Option?

Looking for virtual tax help with your online filing? Learn more about your options by comparing TurboTax Live to H&R Block Tax Pro Review and Tax Pro Go.

Is Volunteer Work Tax Deductible? | H&R Block

Spending your time volunteering is a great way to give back. Learn more about the tax benefits for volunteer work when filing your taxes at H&R Block.

Is Your Engagement Ring Purchase Tax Deductible?

Unfortunately, the cost of your engagement ring can't be deducted as a write-off on your personal income taxes. H&R Block tax pros explain why.