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Division of Taxation

Child and Dependent Care Credit

We understand the enormous financial strain child care costs can place on working families. Law signed in 2018 established the Child and Dependent Care Credit to provide relief for such costs.

Eligible resident taxpayers who are allowed a federal credit for expenses they incur for the care of one or more qualifying individuals are eligible for a credit against their New Jersey Gross Income Tax. A qualifying individual can be a child under age 13 or a spouse or dependent who lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year and is physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

Beginning with Tax Year 2021, amendments to the law were made to help benefit even more New Jerseyans. The taxable income threshold has increased to $150,000, there is no longer a maximum credit limitation, the credit percentage increased for thousands of taxpayers, and eligible claimants can receive a refund of the credit after any tax is paid.

Information on how to claim the 2021 Child and Dependent Care Credit can be found on page 41 of the NJ-1040 Instructions.

The credit will reduce the amount of New Jersey Gross Income Tax a taxpayer owes, and may result in a refund if no taxes are owed. Taxpayers may be able to claim the New Jersey Child and Dependent Care Credit if they:

  • Paid expenses for the care of one or more qualifying individuals so that they are able to work or actively look for work;
  • Are allowed the federal child and dependent care credit; and
  • Have New Jersey taxable income of $150,000 or less.

The amount of the New Jersey credit is a percentage of the taxpayer's federal child and dependent care credit and varies according to the amount of the taxpayer's New Jersey taxable income.

Applicable Laws and Rules 

(P.L. 2018, c.45)

Tax Year 2021
If NJ taxable income is: Amount of the NJ credit is:
Not over $30,000 50% of federal credit
over $30,000 but not over $60,000 40% of federal credit
over $60,000 but not over $90,000 30% of federal credit
over $90,000 but not over $120,000 20% of federal credit
over $120,000 but not over $150,000 10% of federal credit
Daycare

Information on how to claim the 2020 Child and Dependent Care Credit can be found on page 34 of the 2020 NJ-1040 Instructions.

The credit will reduce the amount of New Jersey Gross Income Tax a taxpayer owes, but won't result in a refund if no taxes are owed. Taxpayers may be able to claim the New Jersey Child and Dependent Care Credit if they:

  • Paid expenses for the care of one or more qualifying individuals so that they are able to work or actively look for work;
  • Are allowed the federal child and dependent care credit; and
  • Have New Jersey taxable income of $60,000 or less.
The amount of the New Jersey credit is a percentage of the taxpayer's federal child and dependent care credit and varies according to the amount of the taxpayer's New Jersey taxable income.
Tax Year 2020
If NJ taxable income is: Amount of the NJ credit is:
Not over $20,000 50% of federal credit
over $20,000 but not over $30,000 40% of federal credit
over $30,000 but not over $40,000 30% of federal credit
over $40,000 but not over $50,000 20% of federal credit
over $50,000 but not over $60,000 10% of federal credit

The maximum New Jersey credit cannot exceed $500 for one qualifying individual or $1,000 for two or more qualifying individuals.


Last Updated: Monday, 12/20/21