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State of California Franchise Tax Board

What is the Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit and how do I qualify?

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The Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit is a non-refundable tax credit. The credit is applied against the net tax liability. If the credit exceeds the net tax liability, the excess credit cannot be refunded. The credit is allowed for certain household and dependent care expenses you incurred during the year that allowed you to seek or maintain gainful employment.

You qualify to claim this credit if you meet all of the following for the tax year:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is less than $100,000.00.
  • You had at least as much earned income as you paid for child or dependent care.
  • You have a qualifying individual.

A qualifying individual is one of the following:

  • A dependent of the taxpayer who is under 13 years of age and for whom the taxpayer is entitled to a dependent exemption credit.
  • The spouse of the taxpayer, if he or she is physically or mentally unable to care for him or herself.
  • A dependent of the taxpayer who is physically or mentally unable to care for him or herself and for whom the taxpayer was entitled to a dependent exemption credit without regard to the gross income limitation.

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