Tax refund from the IRS for adoptive families in 2012

Adoptive families eligible for tax refund from the IRS in 2012

NEW YORK, April 2, 2012 — Adoptive families can get a check for more than $13,000 from the IRS this year.

Adoptive parents can claim up to $13,360 for each child they have adopted in the past six years on their 2011 tax returns.  That’s a bit more —$190 to be exact— over last year.

Although the U.S. government has offered some form of adoption tax credit since 1997, it wasn’t until President Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010 that the credit became fully refundable in the form of a check from the IRS. Previously, the credit was used to offset tax liability and could be extended forward each year.

Last year, $1.2 billion in adoption tax credits were awarded. The IRS is very careful about doing due diligence. Credits are given in direct response to eligible expenses and they are limited to Americans making under $185,210. Families with a combined income of more than $225,210 aren’t eligible for the credit.

If you are looking to apply for the credit this year, be very careful to document every claim of expense, no matter how small.

Keep all your documents proving the amount of money spent on your adoption. For a list of necessary documentation, go to the IRS website where there is a page dedicated to the adoption tax credit.

Be patient: processing takes time. The IRS is likely to verify your documentation, which may delay your credit. Many parents who have applied for the credit have received follow up questions and call from IRS agents.

Also, be aware that you may get audited. Last year, there were many audits conducted on families claiming this credit. In fact, the Government Accountability Office concluded that there were “considerable” delays in processing refunds because of the sheer number of audits they generated.

Don’t let this scare you off.  With substantial refunds, these credits are well worth preparing for and waiting for. Plus, this may be the last year that taxpayers can cash in on the credit.

Congress must extend the tax credit this year and if it does not, the credit will disappear. Currently, there is no serious legislation on the table that will extend this important credit. 

It’s important that the millions of Americans who have adopted send letters to their representatives or call their offices to urge them to extend this tax refund.  Advocacy from families makes a big difference.  After all, it was pressure from the adoptive community that got the credit transformed into a refund and the amount increased in 2010.



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Andrea Poe

Andrea Poe is a veteran journalist, whose work has appeared in thousands of publications, including Town & Country, Marie Claire and Entrepreneur.  She is the author of several books and her work has appeared in many others, including anthologies and college textbooks. 

Andrea serves as editor of the Travel & Food section at The Washington Times Communities.  Her love of travel has led her to cover everything from remote villages in the Andes to her hometown of New York, from Paris to Pittsburgh, from Beijing to the Bahamas.  No matter where she travels, she likes to uncover the unusual and share with readers those often-overlooked aspects of a place and its people.  She dubs her column Raven’s Eye as a nod to her illustrious (and, yes, infamous) relative, Edgar Allan Poe, a writer who knew more than a little something about the quirky and unique.  

Andrea is also mother to Maxine, who was adopted from Vietnam in 2006, and is the inspiration for The Red Thread column on adoption at The Washington Times Communities.   Andrea is currently at work on a book on international adoption.

In addition to her work as mother, writer and traveler, she is the founder and president of Media Branding International, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations craft and promote their image in media outlets around the globe.

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