You may be able to claim the child and dependent care credit if you pay expenses for the care of your under-age-13 child or other qualifying person to enable you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) to work or look for work. Tax credits are the best because they give you a dollar-for-dollar tax benefit.

The credit is a percentage of the work-related expenses you paid during the year for the care of a qualifying person, such as your child under age 13.

The cost of camps and before- and after-school programs qualifies for the credit if the camps are primarily for the protection and well-being of your child. On the other hand, the cost of overnight camps, summer school, and tutoring programs does not qualify.

Although the credit is not large, it’s free money. You would, and likely did, spend this money without regard to the credit. This means you have likely done all you need to do to claim the credit when it comes time for me to prepare your tax return.