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?
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
- 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
Learn more about filing head of household and claiming the earned income tax credit with advice from the tax experts at H&R Block.
If you are just getting your tax documents together and figuring out what to do next, here is a handy checklist to help you keep everything organized.
Can you split donations with your spouse if you itemize deductions and file married filing separately? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.
How do you notify the IRS of address changes? Learn more about Form 8822 and get answers from the tax experts at H&R Block.