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Form 2441 -- Child and Dependent Care Expenses

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Level 3

Situation: 

Two children, both under 13, both parents work

More than $6,000 was paid in child care, but only for one of the kids.  

When I enter $0 in the amount paid field for the first child and the full amount in the amount paid field for the second child, the software is giving credit for two children.  If I leave the amount paid for the first child blank, the software gives just one credit.  

I was expecting just one credit -- for the child with the related expenses.  Am I missing something?  Is this a glitch, or are they allowed to "share" expenses like that?

Thank you!

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1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
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Level 10

Excellent answers from my colleagues.  I didn't believe it the first time I saw it (many years ago) but it's explained in the 2019 2441 instructions (top of page 4):

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i2441.pdf

" However, it is possible a
qualifying child could have no expenses and a second
child could have expenses exceeding $3,000. You should
list -0- for the one child and the actual amount for the
second child. The $6,000 limit would still be used to
compute your credit unless you have already excluded or
deducted, in Part III, certain dependent care benefits paid
to you (or on your behalf) by your employer."

 

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4 Replies 4
Highlighted
Level 15

You can get the credit for the 2 kids.


ex-AllStar
Highlighted
Level 3

Thank you! 

I knew you could get it for two kids, but I didn't realize that they didn't both need to have expenses.  

I appreciate the links/quotes to support it.  

Highlighted
Level 15

If you read the instructions for F 2441 - you will see that it IS allowed.  Lacerte gives (or used to ...) a diagnostic.  I was suspect when I first encountered it years ago; it does seem odd.

Former Chump... umm.... AllStar.
If a post answers your question, click on *Accept as solution* for future searches
Highlighted
Level 10

Excellent answers from my colleagues.  I didn't believe it the first time I saw it (many years ago) but it's explained in the 2019 2441 instructions (top of page 4):

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i2441.pdf

" However, it is possible a
qualifying child could have no expenses and a second
child could have expenses exceeding $3,000. You should
list -0- for the one child and the actual amount for the
second child. The $6,000 limit would still be used to
compute your credit unless you have already excluded or
deducted, in Part III, certain dependent care benefits paid
to you (or on your behalf) by your employer."

 

View solution in original post