The Tribune is providing down-the-stretch tips and reminders to help you complete the right forms, apply for all the deductions and credits you can, and get your tax filings in on time by April 15.
Countdown Tip No. 6: Working parents: Check out the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
Basically, this credit is designed to offset the costs of caring for dependents while you're on the job.
For example, two parents who send their children to an after-school care center or an individual living with a disabled spouse who pays for in-home care could be eligible. Summer day camps, baby-sitting expenses during spring break, preschool costs all of that could qualify.
The amount of the credit is a percentage of the "work-related expenses you paid to a care provider for the care of a qualifying individual," according to the Internal Revenue Service. And the percentage depends on your income level.
Families whose adjusted gross income is $43,000 a year or more can claim up to 20 percent of work-related child care expenses. Those who earn up to $15,000 a year can claim 35 percent.
Unlike a deduction, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit lowers your tax bill dollar for dollar. It applies to those who have dependent children under age 13 or those with dependents (such as an aging parent) who live with them most of the year and can't take care of themselves.
If this describes your situation, find out more about the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit at IRS.gov.
Coming up tomorrow: Understand your taxes if you're self-employed
Countdown to April 15 last-minute tips
Haven't filed your taxes yet? Check out The Tribune's Countdown to Tax Day series with information that can help as the deadline approaches:
April 4 • Where to get free help
April 5 • How to avoid tax scams
April 6 • The joys of filing electronically
Sunday • What's the Earned Income Tax Credit?
Today • Don't miss out on the Child and Dependent Care Credit
Wednesday • Understand your taxes if you're self-employed
Thursday • Watch out for fees when paying taxes by credit card
Friday • Reduce your taxes by saving for retirement
Saturday • Use the Taxpayer Advocate when tackling the IRS
April 14 • Don't ignore your taxes; file an extension to get more time