Who qualifies as a nondependent for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit?

Modified on Sun, 05 Feb 2023 at 08:31 PM

Though it’s not very common, in some cases, you may be able to claim a nondependent child with the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. This exception is generally limited to divorced or separated parents.

In order to claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, a child must live with you for more than half the year, and you must have paid for child care services that were needed because you were working or seeking employment . But the qualifying child you claim for this credit does not necessarily have to be a dependent you claim.

For example, if you and your former spouse have shared custody of your daughter, you may take turns claiming her as a dependent. Let’s say you’re the custodial parent, meaning your daughter lives with you most of the year. In this case, even if it’s your former partner’s year to claim your daughter as a dependent, you could list her as a nondependent to claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for any child care expenses you made during the year.

If you’re the noncustodial parent, however, you cannot claim this tax credit, even if you were the parent who paid for child care costs during the year.

You may also be able to claim a nondependent care expenses if they are disabled and lived in your home and relied on you for at least half of their monetary support. 

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