Claim a valuable New York State credit in addition to the federal one
New Yorkers will be happy to learn that they can get a valuable credit on their state taxes for money they spent to take care of their kids and other dependents.
You can claim New York’s child and dependent care tax credit if you are eligible to claim the federal child and dependent care credit. You don’t actually have to claim the federal credit in order to get the NYS credit, you just have to be eligible for it.
The New York State credit amounts to 20-110% of your federal credit. Exactly how much you’ll get depends on your New York AGI.
New York City even has its own child and dependent care credit that you might also be able to claim if you are a resident of the city. This credit could amount to up to 75% of the New York State credit.
When you file your federal return you can claim the federal credit by also filing Form 2441 [Child and Dependent Care Expenses].
If you didn’t file this form or didn’t file a federal tax return, you can still claim the New York State credit by filing Form IT-216 [Claim for Child and Dependent Care Credit].
In case you need a refresher on who can qualify for the federal (and thus the state) credit, here are the conditions you have to meet. Note: in order to claim the credit you must meet all four.
- Your filing status must be single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, or married filing joint return. There are separate rules for married persons filing separate federal and New York state returns.
- The care must have been provided so that you (and your spouse) could work or look for work. If you looked for work but didn’t find a job, and have no earned income for the year, you cannot take the credit.
- The child (or other qualified person who received the care) must have lived in the same house with you for more than half the year.
- The person who provided the care cannot be your spouse, the parent of the qualifying child under age thirteen, or someone you claim as a dependent. This person must also have turned nineteen by December 31st in the tax year for which you are claiming the credit.
Special rules for married filing separately
Generally married persons filing separate federal and New York State returns cannot claim the credit. However, under certain conditions, you could be considered unmarried for the purpose of claiming the credit. You are considered unmarried if
- you lived apart from your spouse during the last six months of the tax year, and
- the qualifying person lived in your home more than half of the tax year, and
- you provided over half the cost of keeping up your home
If you filed married filing separately and you meet these requirements, as well as the ones outlined above, then you can claim the credit.
You can claim both of these valuable credits by filing your federal and state taxes now. Were you eligible to claim it for a prior year but forgot to file? Never fear. You can file a 2011 tax return right here on PriorTax.
Photo via Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix) on Flickr.