Question

I have a question about how to claim child care expenses. If I don't claim my child as a dependent, can I still claim the child tax benefit?

Answer

You usually can’t claim the child and dependent care credit for a nondependent child. The only exception is if the child would have been your dependent, except for one or more of these reasons:

  • The child had gross income of 4050.
  • The child filed a joint return to claim a refund only.
  • Someone else could claim you, or your spouse if filing jointly, as a dependent.
  • You and your spouse are divorced or separated and living apart, and either of these applies:
    • The non-custodial parent is claiming your child as a dependent since you signed a waiver.
    • The non-custodial parent was allowed to claim the child pursuant to a divorce decree. The non-custodial parent could claim the child as a dependent and for purposes of the child tax credit. You can claim the child and dependent care credit if otherwise eligible. Under this circumstance, your child will still be considered a qualifying child for the credit. However, you must still meet the other requirements.

Your child might only live with you in alternate years. You can claim the dependent care credit for your child if your child lived with you more than half the year.

Related Topics

Related Resources

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Are you eligible for tax credits through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? Learn more and get tax answers at H&R Block.

I have a question about student tax credit — What college student tax credit am I able to claim for my education expens

Learn more college student tax credits from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Child Tax Credit

Learn more about the child tax credit, income phase out rules and claiming additional credits with the tax experts at H&R Block.

Business Tax Credit For Fuel Use

If your business uses gasoline or diesel fuel, you may earn a tax credit. Learn more about excise tax credit for fuel and get tax answers at H&R Block