Adoption Tax Credit 2018

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What is the Adoption Tax Credit and how can adoptive parents claim it on their 2018 taxes? How much is the Adoption Tax Credit and what types of adoption are covered? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Rebecca Wilmoth and Josh Kroll about the Adoption Tax Credit 2018.


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The tax code provides an adoption credit of up to $13,810 of qualified adoption expenses (in 2018) for each child adopted, whether via public foster care, domestic private adoption, or international adoption.

  • The amount for 2018 is $13,810. It is a non-refundable tax credit. What is a “credit” and how does it differ from a deduction or some other form of tax savings?
  • If you get a tax refund every year, how would you use the Adoption Tax Credit?
  • What type of adoptions are included or excluded? Stepparent adoption? Embryo adoption? Same-sex partner second parent adoption? Unmarried heterosexual second parent adoption?
  • Can you get credit for each adoption you complete even if completed in the same year? What about adopting siblings at the same time?
  • What is a Qualified Adoption Expense for purposes of the Adoption Tax Credit?
    • Are birth mother expenses (or expectant mother expenses) allowed as a qualified adoption expense?
    • Are failed domestic adoption attempt expenses allowed under the Adoption Tax Credit?
    • Are failed international adoption expenses allowed under the Adoption Tax Credit?
  • When can you claim the Adoption Tax Credit?
    • Domestic infant: If we have adoption expenses during 2018, but do not finalize an adoption in that year can I claim those expenses for my 2018 return or do I have to wait until my 2019 return?
    • International
    • Foster Care
  • Special Needs Adoption: How does the Adoption Tax Credit differ for adoptions from foster care?
  • What income level is excluded from claiming the Adoption Tax Credit in 2018?
  • What if you can’t use all the credit in one year because you don’t have $13,810 in federal tax liability? How long can the credit be carried over?
  • Will the Adoption Tax Credit offset self employment tax or will it only offset income tax liability? How are employer benefits for adoption handled for tax purposes under the Adoption Tax Credit?
  • How does the Adoption Tax Credit work in conjunction with employer benefits?
  • What type of documentation should you submit with your taxes? What type of documentation should you keep in your records?
  • What should you do if you do not have your child’s social security number when you get ready to file your taxes? When should you consider using an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN #) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN #)?
  • How does the Adoption Tax Credit work with kinship adoptions? What if the child never was involved with the foster care?


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Image credit: Earl

10/01/2019 | by Radio Show | Categories: 2019 Shows, Adoption, Adoption Radio Shows, Radio Show | 4 Comments



4 Responses to Adoption Tax Credit 2018

  1. Avatar David Lewis says:

    My wife showed me this website and I listened to the online broadcast. We completed our 2nd international adoption late last year. The prior one was is 2013. I have been using tax software to prepare the forms and we typically get refunds based on our deductions. I was able to get the adoption credit in 2014 and 2015, but never got the full amount of expenses credited. The software never said I could. The broadcast mentioned 5 years though. Can I still get credit from 2013 now? And can I expect to full credits for this latest one going forward? If I can be pointed toward some resources, that would be great. Thank you.

  2. Avatar Heather says:

    My question is that I was adopting domestically and incurred several expenses in 2013-2014. The mom renigged the adoption and the child was returned back to the mother. Fast forward to 4 years later. The same child was put into DHS custody in which we were his foster family and successfully adopted in 2018 as a special needs (adoption assistance agreement). Are we eligible for the tax credit from the failed adoption in 2014 because it was domestic and we incurred fees. Or, because it is the same child, are we only allowed to have the one tax credit.

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      Interesting question. I don’t think it matters whether you incurred fees for the same child since if you adopt a child with special needs (and a signed adoption assistant agreement) you get the full amount regardless of the expenses incurred. However, I would ask this question to Josh Kroll at NACAC. You can find their telephone # online and just ask for Josh. If you remember, please come back here and post what you find out.

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Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.