The Adoption Tax Credit has been a hallmark of family building legislation since 1997. On December 31, 2012, the adoption tax credit is set to expire or “sunset.” Now is the time to make a difference for thousands of Americans. Here are the top ten things you need to know about the adoption tax credit and what you can do right now to urge your legislators to renew and preserve this important legislation.
1. The adoption tax credit will expire on December 31, 2012 if Congress fails to act.
The clock is ticking and time is running out.
2. The adoption tax credit has been around since 1997.
President Bill Clinton signed The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 in law on August 20, 1996. The adoption tax credit first appeared as two provisions of this law: providing “adoption tax assistance” and “removal of barriers to interethnic adoption.” The law took effect on January 1, 1997. [Source: Children’s Hope International]
3. It provides necessary financial relief to offset the high costs of adoption.
In 2012, the tax credit amount decreased to $12,650. It is no longer refundable, eliminating the availability of the credit to some lower- or moderate-income families without tax liability. The 2012 credit may be carried forward for five additional years, applying to each year’s liability until the full credit amount is used or time expires. [Source: IRS, National Council for Adoption]
4. It has helped hundreds of thousands of families since 1997.
The IRS estimates that the credit benefited as many as 96,949 children and their families in 2010 alone. [Source: National Council for Adoption]
5. It has had bi-partisan support.
In 2002, President George Bush signed the Hope for Children Act, expanding the adoption tax credit to $10,000 for all adoptions. It was set to sunset in December 2010 and was renewed through the end of 2012. Several attempts to make the tax credit permanent have been introduced, however unsuccessfully, from both sides of the congressional aisle. [Source: Children’s Hope International]
6. The adoption tax credit needs your help now more than ever before.
The current adoption tax credit will sunset December 31, 2012. If Congress does not take action, the credit will revert back to $6,000 and apply only to the limited number of special needs adoptions that have adoption expenses. No credit will remain for most adoptions. [Source: Save the Adoption Tax Credit]
7. You have the power to make a difference for hundreds of thousands of American families.
The only way to prevent the expiration of the adoption tax credit is to ensure that Congress does not allow it to sunset. The best way to do this is to pick up the phone, write an email or letter, or better yet, meet with your congressperson at their home office. Remember, as a constituent, they’re working for you, so don’t be shy about arranging a meeting with them or even calling their office. Tell them why the adoption tax credit is important to you and urge them to pass legislation that will both protect and expand the law so that it is inclusive, permanent, refundable and flat for special needs. [Source: RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association]
8. Spread the word and advocate for the adoption tax credit.
Whether you share this post on Facebook or Twitter, or even just send this post to your family and friends – we need Americans to turn out in droves to protect and save this important legislation. Legislators tend to act on legislation that is important and beneficial to their constituents and time is running out for Congress to act. You can also help spread the word by “liking” Save the Adoption Tax Credit on Facebook.
9. The adoption tax credit matters.
The adoption tax credit has helped form hundreds of thousands of loving families through domestic, international, private and foster-care programs. It has allowed adoption to be a family building option for all income levels despite its high costs, providing relief when these new families need it most. Additionally, the adoption tax credit serves as an incentive to encourage families to adopt children with special needs, who may have otherwise spend much of their lives in foster-care. [Source: Save the Adoption Tax Credit]
Bottom line: the Adoption Tax Credit makes adoption more possible for the more than 100,000 children in U.S. foster care, and the millions of children worldwide who need a family of their own.
[Source: National Council for Adoption]
10: There are more resources available online.
- Save the Adoption Tax Credit
- Adoption Tax Credit Advocacy Toolkit
- National Council for Adoption
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association