Oregon’s WFC tax credit may ease burden of childcare cost
Mar 09,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources
SALEM—Oregon's Working Family Child Care (WFC) tax credit may help low-income families recoup some of their childcare costs.

"This credit is especially important to low-income families because it's refundable," said Keith Shribbs, Oregon Department of Revenue's WFC coordinator.

A refundable credit means that if the credit is more than the tax you owe, the state will pay you the difference.

"A family could get some money back from the state even if they don't owe taxes," Shribbs said.

To qualify for the tax credit, each of these conditions must be true:
• You had at least $7,100 of earned income, and
• You had $2,800 or less in investment income (such as interest, dividends, capital gains), and
• Your adjusted gross income was less than the limits for your household size, and
• You paid qualifying childcare expenses to allow you—and spouse, if married—to work or attend school, and
• You paid qualifying childcare expenses for your qualifying child, and
• Your childcare provider was not the child's parent or guardian, or your relative under age 19.

If you claim the WFC credit, you must be able to prove you made the payments. Shribbs suggests keeping proof-of-payment records for at least three years from the date you file your return.

"We may ask for proof at any time. If you do not have proof of your expenses, we may deny your credit," he said.

Proof includes canceled checks, duplicate checks along with bank statements, money order stubs, or detailed receipts signed and issued by the childcare provider at the time you make the payment. These receipts must include:
• Child's full name,
• Date(s) childcare was provided,
• Amount of money paid,
• Name of person and/or government agency making the payment,
• Child care provider's full name, address, and daytime phone number,
• Child care provider's tax identification number (Social Security number or Federal Employer Identification Number
• Method of payment (cash, check, etc.), and
• Date of payment.

"I can't stress enough how important keeping good records is for this credit," Shribbs said.

For more information on WFC, Oregon income taxes, and tax forms and instructions, visit www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX, or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish), or 503-378-4988 in Salem. Salem-area Spanish speakers call 503-945-8618. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204; Salem, 503-945-8617. Because of the volume of calls the department receives during tax season, callers may experience extended waiting times.