Adoption Tax Credit

  Adoption Tax Credit for 2014 Adoptions
  Adoption Tax Credit for 2013 Adoptions
  Adoption Tax Credit for 2012 Adoptions
  Adoption Tax Credit for 2011 Adoptions
  Adoption Tax Credit for Adoptions before 2011
  Frequently Asked Questions
  IRS Forms
 

 

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Federal Adoption Tax Credit

Updated October 2014

 

If the information below is helpful to you, we hope you will consider becoming a member of NACAC or a making a donation today. Your support will enable us to continue to help adoptive families
receive the benefits they need. Together, we can ensure that all children have families and all families have the support they need.

Please note: The adoption tax credit is a one-time credit per child. If you have received your adoption tax credit for an adoption, you do not apply for an additional adoption tax credit in future years.

Since 2003, families who adopted a child with special needs from foster care could claim a federal adoption tax credit even if they had no adoption expenses. Children who receive adoption assistance/subsidy benefits are considered children with special needs. Other adoptive families are also eligible for the credit, but must have (and be able to document, if requested by the IRS) qualified adoption expenses.

The tax credit was refundable for 2010 and 2011, but not for 2012 or future years. A refundable tax credit is one you get back regardless of what you owe or paid in taxes for the year. When the credit is not refundable, you receive only what you have in federal incomet tax liability.

As of October 16, 2014, who adopted in 2010 or earlier will not benefit.

The amount of the credit is based on the year the adoption finalized:

2014 $13,190
2013 $12,970
2012 $12,650
2011
$13,360


The credit is claimed one time for each adopted child with special needs.
Below, we explain the basics of the adoption tax credit.

To be eligible for the credit, you must:

  • Have adopted a child other than a stepchild — Children who receive a monthly adoption subsidy payment have been determined by the state to have special needs, so these children are eligible for the full tax credit without documenting expenses. Families who adopted children without special needs are also eligible, but need to have (and be able to document, if asked) qualified adoption expenses.

  • And be within the income limits — How much of the credit you can claim is based on income. For 2013, families with a federal modified adjusted gross income above $234,580 cannot claim the credit; families with incomes above $194,580 can claim part credit. Anyone with incomes below the lower amount should be able to claim the full credit. (Adoptions from previous years had different income limits; 2014 income limits are $237,880 and $197,880.)

If You Adopted in 2014

You will claim the credit when you file your 2014 taxes next year. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2013

You need to amend your 2013 taxes. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2012

You will need to amend your 2012 taxes. Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2011

You will need to amend your 2011 taxes (or file an original tax form if you didn't file in 2011). Read our fact sheet for more information.

If You Adopted in 2010 or earlier

Since October 16, 2014, the tax year 2010 closed for everyone, even those who filed an extension on their 2010 taxes. So any adoptions that finalized in 2010 or earlier are no longer able to file for a refund

 


Below are links to a number of resources for adoptive families.

NACAC's resources focus on adoptions of children with special needs from foster care, but may also be of use to other adoptive families.


North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848
e-mail: info@nacac.org
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