Dependent Care Account Eligible Expenses

Expense Eligibility
Advance Payment of Day Care Expense

Eligible

After-School Care or Extended Day Programs (Supervised Activities for Children after the Regular School Program)

Yes, these programs are generally custodial in nature and its primary purpose is care for children while their parents work.

Eligible

Au Pair Expenses

Yes, but not airfare or other fixed costs.

Eligible

Babysitter Inside or Outside of Participant’s Household

Yes, unless babysitter is a child of the employee (or spouse) under age 19, or is otherwise claimed as a dependent by the employee or spouse on IRS for 1040.

Eligible

Chauffeur

Not Eligible

Child of Participant, Amounts Paid to for Child Care

No, unless child is age 19 or older and cannot be claimed as a dependent of the participant or participant’s spouse.

Not Eligible

Cook

Generally no, except where attributable in part to child care.

Not Eligible

Dependent Care Center Expense

Yes, provided they meet requirements of Code § 21(b)(2)(C).

Eligible

Disabled Spouse or Tax Dependent That Lives Outside of Household

No, they must regularly spend at least 8 hours per day in the employee’s household.

Not Eligible

Educational Expenses - First Grade and Above

No, educational expenses are not considered expenses for care.

Not Eligible

Educational Expenses - Kindergarten

No, expenses are considered educational in nature and not custodial (regardless of half- or full-day, private or public, state mandated or voluntary).

Not Eligible

Educational Expenses - Pre-Kindergarten or Nursery School

Yes, since care is primarily custodial in nature.

Eligible

Elder Care / Assisted Living / Custodial Care / Long-Term Care / Nursing Home

Only if such expenses are not attributable to medical services and the qualifying individual spends at least 8 hours per day in the participant’s household.

Eligible

FICA and FUTA Taxes of Day Care Provider

Eligible

Food Expenses

No, if charged separately from dependent care expense.

Not Eligible

Gardener

Not Eligible

Household Services, e.g., Housekeeper, Maid, Cook

Generally no, except where attributable in part to child care.

Not Eligible

Incidental Expenses - e.g., Extra Charges for Diaper Changing, Special Activities, etc.

No, if charged separately from dependent care expense.

Not Eligible

Looking for Work - Dependent Care Expenses Incurred to Enable Participant to Look for Work

Eligible

Maid

Generally no, except where attributable in part to child care.

Not Eligible

Nanny Expenses

Yes, to the extent the expense is attributable to dependent care expenses and expenses of household services attributable in part to care of qualifying individual.

Eligible

Overnight Camp

Not Eligible

Registration Fees for Care

No, most fees do not go toward the care of a qualifying individual.

Not Eligible

Relative of a Participant, Expenses Paid to for Child Care (e.g. Parent or Grandparent of Participant)

Yes, unless the relative is a tax dependent of the participant or child under age 19.

Eligible

Sick-Child Facility

Yes, if they are incurred to enable participant to go to work when the child is ill.

Eligible

Sick Employee (Care for Dependent When the Participant Stays Home Sick)

Not Eligible

Summer Day Camp

Yes, to the extent attributable to dependent care (should be custodial in nature and not educational).

Eligible

Transportation Expenses

No, if charged separately from dependent care expense.

Not Eligible

Volunteer Work - Expenses Incurred to Enable Participant to Volunteer

No, if the volunteer work is unpaid work or for nominal pay.

Not Eligible

Legend

Eligible

Not Eligible