Your child care payments can bring you up to $ 16,000 in credit. Everything you need to know



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Paying for child care can be costly. The increased childcare loan helps cover costs.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you pay someone to babysit or a dependent while you work, March incentive bill allows you to write off most of the costs of caring for that child or dependent. This includes if you hire someone to care for your child or dependent, be it daycare or nanny – or even for care-related transportation.

You may be eligible for a refund of up to 50% as a tax credit or reimbursement for these childcare costs in 2021. The amount you will be able to claim is $ 8,000 for one dependent and $ 16,000 for two or more. Trick? You need to start collecting receipts and other monetary evidence. now to make sure you can qualify for tax credit when you file your tax return next year.

Below we explain how this child care tax credit works. Also, if you expect to benefit from the extended child tax credits (monthly payments start in July), you can update your income and dependents information via upcoming IRS portals… And if you or someone in your household received unemployment benefits in 2020, read about how to get a tax refund with this money. This story was recently updated.

What do I need to know about the 2021 Child and Dependent Care Loan?

The Child and Dependent Care Loan is a tax credit primarily designed to enable parents to claim reimbursement of child care costs. For example, if you are currently working and paying for kindergarten services, these costs may be claimed when you file your tax return in 2022.

How will the loan change in 2021? In previous years – including tax year 2020 – The maximum amount you could claim for multiple children was $ 6,000. Under the new law, you can claim up to $ 16,000 for multi-child care and up to $ 8,000 for one child or one dependent.

What does it mean? In short, in tax year 2021, you can get 50% back up to $ 8,000 for childcare and related expenses (and up to $ 16,000 for expenses for two or more dependents).

Prior to the American Salvation Plan, the child and dependent child care loan was non-refundable, which meant it could have reduced your tax bill to zero, but you would not have been reimbursed for whatever was left. Now, the loan is fully repaidwhich means you get paid for it even if you don’t have to pay taxes.

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What is considered a loan expense?

The law defines costs based on childcare. providersbut there is wiggle room that also takes into account costs such as transportation. The key point is that any organization or person caring for your dependent is counted as long as you pay them. (So, for example, this does not apply to your spouse.)

According to Elaine Maag, chief scientist at the Institute of Health Services, the IRS has relatively lax rules regarding health care providers. City Institute… However, you may be more fortunate in getting a childcare loan for people and groups working in an official capacity, such as a kindergarten, instead of giving a neighborhood teenager $ 40 to look after their child for a couple of hours. …

Qualified healthcare providers

What qualifies

What doesn’t fit

Day care costs

Your spouse

Preschool and extracurricular care programs

Dependent parent

Day camp

Your children

Transportation to and from healthcare providers

Babysitting are paid “under the table” *

Babysitters, nannies, housekeepers

* Parents who pay their nannies with cash “under the table” should be aware that it is risky to claim child care tax credits because their income cannot be claimed or documented by the provider.

How can I claim my taxes refunded?

You won’t actually be able to qualify for the loan until you file your 2021 tax return next year. For now, keep a detailed record of all childcare costs – this means any receipts from kindergartens or extracurricular programs showing the costs you paid. Then, when tax day arrives in 2022, complete Form 2441 and attach it to your Form 1040 tax return.

According to the IRS, you will need to provide the name, address, and TIN (this can be a social security number or employer identification number) of the health care provider upon return. You can use Form W-10 to request the information you need from your health care provider.

Please note that the Child and Dependent Care Loan form is embedded in tax software such as TurboTax and H&R unit… For example, these programs may ask if you have a child under the age of 13 and if you paid for childcare during the year.

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Keep detailed and organized records of expenses and receipts to show the IRS next year.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What is the maximum amount I can claim for child expenses?

For expenses accrued in 2021, you can claim up to $ 8,000 in eligible expenses per dependent, or up to $ 16,000 in eligible expenses for multiple dependents, according to Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the company. Tax fund

Please be aware that this is not a 2021 loan. child tax credit… Prepaid expense payments of tax credits for children will begin in July monthly. In this case, you can get anywhere from $ 500 to $ 3,600 per child during this and next year.

As a parent, what should I know about income requirements?

To be eligible, you must have earned income, such as wages from work or unemployment. If you are married and are filing a joint tax return, your spouse must also have earned income. (Exceptions apply full-time students and people with disabilities.)

In tax year 2021, the loan amount begins to gradually decline when the income of the taxpayer, family AGI, or adjusted gross income reaches $ 125,000. The loan is reduced by 50% for any amount between USD 125,000 and USD 183,000, and then gradually reduced to 20%. This 20% is valid until income reaches $ 400,000. The lending rate eventually ends entirely for families earning $ 438,000 or more.

What should I know about eligibility for my dependents’ program?

According to the IRSThe qualification rules for dependents are quite broad, but the dependent must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be under the age of 13 or
  • Being unable to take care of themselves if they are 13 years of age or older (for example, if you have a spouse or senior dependent who is disabled and unable to take care of themselves and has lived with you for more than six months, or
  • Be physically or mentally incapable of self-care, even if their income was $ 4,300 or more.

In addition, the qualifying dependent must have a taxpayer identification number, such as a social security number.

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What do I need to know if I am divorced or divorced?

Only a parent with primary custody can qualify for the Child Care Tax Credit. The rules are similar to the rules governing child tax credit and joint custody

For other ways to get money this year, see how can you save money with loans and benefits in 2021. Here’s how waive the monthly payment of the child tax credit


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