Fiscal Cliff Legislation Makes Adoption Tax Credit Permanent
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 21, 2013 - The “fiscal cliff” deal is a good deal for some families.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, also known as the “fiscal cliff” deal, is good news to families who plan to adopt a child or who have recently done so.
The Act, signed into law by President Obama on January 1, 2013, makes permanent the existing adoption tax credit.
Tampa family law attorney Joshua Law commented, “This is very welcome news for many American families. Too often, there are daunting expenses involved in adopting a child. This tax credit helps ease that burden, helping adoptive children find permanent homes sooner and in greater numbers.”
The credit allows adoptive parents to reduce their federal tax liability by the amount of the normal and necessary expenses they incur in adopting a child. Allowable expenses include adoption fees, travel expenses, attorney fees and court costs. The maximum credit is indexed to inflation and changes each year. For 2012, the limit is $12,650 for each adopted child.
This tax credit should not be confused with a tax deduction, which is a reduction of one's taxable income. A credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of one's tax bill.
In recent years, the credit was even more rewarding, as it was a refundable credit. This means that it could reduce one's tax liability to less than zero, resulting in a payment from the U.S. government. Under the recently-enacted law, however, the tax credit is non-refundable.
Claiming the credit requires several steps including proving the expenses and may increase the likelihood of an audit.
“I highly recommend that anyone adopting a child and claiming this tax credit speak with an experienced family law attorney,” added Mr. Law.
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