For example, look at the following example as it relates to the child care credit. “I work full time but my wife typically only works 1 day/week. The rest of the time she is a stay at home mom. On one of the days that she is home, my son attends a half day daycare. Can I claim this credit even though she isn’t actually working while he attends daycare.”
Claiming child care credit for “parent’s morning out” daycare
If your wife has SOME earned income, you should be able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit. You’ll need to get documentation from the care provider for the amount paid, and fill out 2441. If your wife didn’t have any earned income for the year, you won’t be able to claim this credit. She does not have to work full time, just have some earned income.
Claiming Child Care Credit Working Parents
Basically, you can claim the child care credit for the day she’s working:
Work for part of year. If you work or actively look for work during only part of the period covered by the expenses, then you must figure your expenses for each day. For example, if you work all year and pay care expenses of $250 a month ($3,000 for the year), all the expenses are work related. However, if you work or look for work for only 2 months and 15 days during the year and pay expenses of $250 a month, your work-related expenses are limited to $625 (21 2 months × $250).
See the following IRS Publication 503 for more information about working part-time and claiming the child care credit on your tax return. The child and dependent care tax credit is worth 20% to 35% of your day care expenses depending on different circumstances. Primarily, the percentage of the child care credit depends on your adjusted gross income. A full chart of the percentage rates is also found in Publication 503 which can be found at the link below.