Child and dependent care expenses credit Credit code 232


You may claim this credit if you paid someone to take care of your:

  • Child
  • Spouse/Registered Domestic Partner (RDP)
  • Dependent

You must have earned income during the year. This credit does not give you a refund.

Check if you qualify

You may qualify if you paid for care while you worked or looked for work.


A child qualifies if they meet all of the following:

  • Relationship — must be your:
    • Son/daughter
    • Stepchild
    • Adopted child
    • Foster child
    • Brother/sister
    • Half-brother/half-sister
    • Stepbrother/stepsister
    • Niece/nephew
    • A descendant of one of the above
  • Age: Are under 13 years old
  • Residency: Lived with you for more than 1/2 the year
  • Support: Did not provide more than 1/2 of his/her own support
  • Joint Return: Did not file a joint federal or state income tax return
  • Citizenship: Are a U.S. citizen, national, or resident of Canada or Mexico

Spouse/registered domestic partner (RDP)

A spouse/RDP qualifies if they were:

  • Mentally or physically incapable of taking care of themselves
  • Enrolled as a full-time student during any 5 months of the year


A dependent qualifies if they were either:

  • Mentally or physically incapable of taking care of themselves
  • Would have been your dependent except:
    • Their income was more than $4,700
    • They filed a joint tax return
    • You, or your spouse/RDP (if filing a joint return) could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return

Additional qualifications

If you have a qualifying person you must also meet all of the following:

  1. File a joint return (if married)
  2. Have had the care provided in California
  3. Paid for care in order to work or look for work
  4. Have earned income
  5. The person that provided the care cannot be:
    • Your spouse/RDP
    • The parent of the child
  6. You lived in the same house with the qualifying person for more than 1/2 the year
  7. Your federal adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less

Your child can be the care provider if they are 19 years old or older.

What you'll get

If you qualify, you may only claim expenses up to:

  • $3,000 for 1 person
  • $6,000 for 2 or more people

You will receive a percentage of the amount you paid as a credit.

How to claim

  1. File your income tax return
  2. Attach Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit (Form 3506)
  3. Visit Instructions for form FTB 3506 for more information

Why you got a letter

You may have received a notice from us if:

  • We need additional documentation to process your claim
  • You did not qualify
  • We adjusted your claim

Follow the instructions on your notice or contact your tax preparer.