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If you paid someone to care for your child, dependent or spouse last year, you may qualify for the child and dependent care credit. 

1. You can claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit for “qualifying individuals.” A qualifying individual includes your child under age 13. It also includes your spouse or dependent who lived with you for more than half the year who was physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

2. The care must have been provided so you – and your spouse if you are married filing jointly – could work or look for work.

3. You, and your spouse if you file jointly, must have earned income, such as income from a job. A special rule applies for a spouse who is a student or not able to care for himself or herself.

4. This credit can be worth up to 35 percent of your qualifying costs for care, depending upon your income. You can claim up to $3,000 of your total costs if you have one qualifying individual. If you have two or more qualifying individuals you can claim up to $6,000 of your costs.