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Most Popular Questions

Who is a qualifying dependent for a DCFSA?

A qualifying dependent for a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) is your tax dependent who is:

  • A child under age 13
  • Your spouse or other tax dependent (regardless of age) who is mentally or physically incapable of self-care.

To claim dependent care expenses, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have incurred the expenses in order for you and your spouse to work, look for work (as long as you found a job and have earned income), attend school full-time, or your spouse was physically or mentally incapable of self-care.
  • The payments for care cannot be paid to someone you can claim as your dependent on your federal income tax return or to your child who is under age 19. (However, payments can be made to a provider between ages 13-19 that you do not claim on your taxes as a dependent, or who does not live in your home.)
  • Your tax filing status must be single, qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child, married filing jointly, or married filing separately.
  • The care must have been provided for one or more qualifying persons identified on the form you use to claim the credit.
  • You (and, if you're married, your spouse) must maintain a home that you live in for more than half of the year with your qualifying child or dependent.

Your child must have been under age 13 when care was provided, and you must be able to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return. (For an exception to this rule, see "Child of Divorced or Separated Parents" in IRS Publication 503, "Child and Dependent Care Expenses.")

A person of any age (e.g., a parent) who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care may be eligible if they can be claimed as a dependent on your tax return (or could have been claimed, except for the fact that they had $4,400 or more of gross income).