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Cash & Expenses

Tax refund if you paid for child and dependent care

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCC) | Internal Revenue Service (IRS), NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)

1. How it Works

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit reimburses up to 50% of costs for caring for a child or adult dependent. On your 2023 tax return, you can claim up to $3,000 for the cost of care for one qualifying person and $6,000 for care for two or more qualifying persons.

  • File your 2023 tax return by April 15, 2024 to claim this credit.
  • You qualify if you paid for the care of a qualifying child or children while you worked or looked for work. This includes costs for a day care center or a babysitter.

2. Determine your eligibility

To be eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, you should be able to answer yes to these questions:

  1. Did you pay someone to care for your dependent so that you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) could work or look for work? Qualifying dependents are:
    • a child under age 13 at the time of care;
    • a spouse or adult dependent who cannot physically or mentally care for themselves.
  2. Did the dependent live with you for more than half of 2023?
  3. Did you (and your spouse if you file taxes jointly) earn income? These can be from wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee money, or earnings from self-employment.
  4. If you are married, do both you and your spouse work outside of the home?
    • Or, do one of you work outside of the home while the other is a full-time student, has a disability, or is looking for work?

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3. What you need to include

To claim the credit, you will need to prove the following for all people listed on your tax return:

  • Identity and age: such as photo ID, driver’s license, IDNYC, passport, or naturalization certificate.
  • Citizenship or immigration status: such as your birth certificate or a U.S. passport.
  • Your earned and unearned income (if any): such as a recent pay stub or unemployment benefits statement, pension correspondence, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
  • Dependent care cost: Amount of money you paid for your child or dependent’s care.

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4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

Get free tax filing help if your family earned $85,000 or less or if you’re a single filer who earned $59,000 or less in 2023. IRS-certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparers can help you file online, in person, or after you drop off your documents.

File online

Apply by mail

Apply in person

Come back to it later.
We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

More information

Learn more about tax credits you can claim.

Find a VITA or TCE location

Call 800-906-9887 to find the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).

Last Updated February 12, 2024

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