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I have a question about the Adoption Tax Credit. How do I claim tax credit for adoption?

To qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit, you must meet both of these requirements:

  • Adopt an eligible child. For a foreign child, the adoption must be final, but for a domestic adoption, expenses are allowed even if the adoption is never finalized.
  • Pay qualified adoption expenses (unless adopting a special needs child as defined by the state).  

An eligible child is any child who’s either:

  • Under age 18
  • Any age, and both:
    • A U.S. citizen or resident alien
    • Physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself

Adoption expenses include costs that:

  • Directly relate to your adoption
  • Are reasonable and necessary for your adoption

Expenses include:

  • Adoption fees
  • Legal fees
  • Court costs
  • Travel expenses

However, eligible Adoption Tax Credit adoption expenses don’t include any amounts reimbursed or paid for by:

  • Your employer
  • A government agency
  • Any other organization

Complete Form 8839 and attach it to your Form 1040 to claim your Adoption Tax Credit.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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