Category Archives: Uncategorized

Letter to Rep. Camp

On February 26, 2014 the Ways and Means Chairman, Dave Camp (R-MI), released a tax reform proposal outlining his plan to reform the American tax code. The Tax Reform Act of 2014 would end the adoption tax credit. The discussion draft stated, “The adoption credit can be complex and overlaps with other tax provisions that provide tax benefits for families. Consolidating redundant and complex family tax benefits, such as the adoption credit, into an increased child credit and standard deduction would result in significant simplification.”

In June, the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group wrote a letter to the Chairman urging members of Congress to not eliminate the federal adoption tax credit and to improve it so that more adoptive families can benefit from this essential resource. View the letter

Thank You to Key Senators

On Friday, August 2, the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group sent letters to Senators Robert Casey (D-PA), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to thank them for their leadership in supporting a refundable adoption tax credit.

View the letters:

We Need Your Voice before July 19!

On June 27, Senators Baucus and Hatch circulated a Dear Colleague letter to Members of the United States Senate asking them for their participation in tax reform.  Members were informed that it is the Committee’s preference that the process start with a blank slate—eliminate all tax expenditures, both corporate and individual provisions. They were also told that to be re-included in the tax code a provision or proposal had to:

  1. help grow the economy,
  2. make the tax code fairer, or
  3. effectively promote other important policy objectives.   

In response to this, Senators are now preparing letters that include their priorities for tax reform.  These letters are due to the Finance Committee by July 26. In order for your Senators to be able to incorporate your ask into their letters, we need you to reach out to them by July 19.  The Adoption Tax Credit Working Executive Committee has prepared and distributed a letter to Members of Congress and asked them to include the adoption tax credit on their list of priority measures.  We need you to do the same.

Action:

We are calling on you today to ask you to:

  1. E-mail both of your Senators (you can adapt this template), asking them to demonstrate their support for the Adoption Tax Credit by: (1) including it in their list of priorities for tax reform and (2) co-sponsoring S. 1056. (You can find additional talking points in our letter. You can choose to send an automatic e-mail using a tool on the Resolve web site: https://secure2.convio.net/res/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=479. (Resolve is one of the executive committee members of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group.)

  2. Call your Senators and ask them to demonstrate their support for the Adoption Tax Credit by including it in their list of priorities for tax reform and cosponsoring S. 1056.

If you need to find your Senators’ contact information, go to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm, or call the Capitol Operator at 202-224-3121  and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. Once you’ve reached the office, ask to speak to the legislative assistant who handles adoption or tax issues. (Repeat this to speak to your second Senator.)

Please contact your Senators today!

 

Working Group Wins Award

For its efforts to extend and enhance the adoption tax credit, the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group was selected by the Joint Council on International Children’s Services to receive its 2012-2013 Outstanding Child Advocate Award. The award is given to a person, organization or group for dedication and commitment to children and families to ensure they live, grow, and thrive to the best of their abilities.

“The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group was unanimously selected by the committee,” said Brian Franklin, Joint Council board chairman and award committee member.  “It was a no-brainer. The Working Group not only demonstrated how collaborations can work for children, but the outcome, a permanent adoption tax credit, will benefit hundreds of thousands of children for years to come. It is our honor to recognize the Working Group and its continued effort to do even more by making the Adoption Tax Credit refundable for all adoptive families.”

We are proud to receive the award and will continue to fight to make the adoption tax credit refundable. You can read a full press release here.

Recommendations Submitted to Congressional Tax Reform Working Group

In February 2013, the House Ways and Means Chairman, Dave Camp (R-MI), and Ranking Member, Sandy Levin (D-MI), announced the formation of 11 different Congressional Tax Reform Working Groups, which would review current tax law and identify and compile feedback related to the topic of the working group. The feedback is envisioned to come from several sources, including stakeholders, academics, practitioners, the general public, and other legislators.

The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group developed a written statement providing feedback on the adoption tax credit, and submitted it to the Education and Family Benefits Working Group, which is chaired by Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN) and vice chaired by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL). Click here to read our statement, which was submitted to Congressional leaders reviewing tax reform.

Please Take Action on Tax Day, April 15!

On April 15, we ask you to contact your members of Congress—both on the House and Senate sides—to thank them for making the adoption tax credit permanent but also to ask them to make the credit refundable in the future. Below is a sample e-mail you can use. (Find your Senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. Find your Representatives at http://www.house.gov/representatives/.)

Sample E-mail

Subject: Children Waiting to be Adopted & Adoptive Families Thank You! 

Dear Senator or Representative ______________________,

Thank you for making the Adoption Tax Credit permanent!  When Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, it made the adoption tax credit permanent; as a result it helped children find forever families. The credit makes adoption a more viable option for parents who might not otherwise be able to afford adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving families. With more than 100,000 children in U.S. foster care available for adoption, and countless millions of orphaned and abandoned children around the world, the continuation of the Adoption Tax Credit is vital to providing love, safety, and permanency to children.

We are so grateful for your support of the Adoption Tax Credit, but more must be done. The Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent, but it lost a key provision when it was renewed – it is no longer refundable. This is devastating to many low and middle-income adoptive parents. One-third of all adopted children live in families with annual household incomes at or below 200% of the poverty level, meaning many do not have a tax liability and cannot utilize a non-refundable tax credit. Nationally nearly half  (46%) of families adopting from foster care are at or below 200% of poverty the level. A refundable Adoption Tax Credit makes an enormous difference in terms of which families are able to claim the credit. Many parents who provide loving homes to waiting children cannot use the non-refundable adoption tax credit at all – and these are among those who need it most.

We urge you to reinstate the refundable provision, which was in place in 2010 and 2011, so that all adopted children have the ability to benefit. It will encourage adoptions, particularly from foster care, and that will help ensure children have the permanent, loving family they need.

[INSERT PERSONAL STORY IF APPLICABLE.]

Please work with your colleagues this year to reinstate the refundable provision of the adoption tax credit – to ensure that children waiting to be adopted have the ability to thrive in a family of their own.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Adoption Tax Credit Is Continued

The bill to avert the fiscal cliff, which was signed on January 2, made the adoption tax credit permanent, extending the credit as it was in the 2001 Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. The adoption credit is not refundable for 2012 and beyond, which means that only those individuals with tax liability will benefit.

The credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions, which means that people who adopt children who are determined to be special needs (or hard to place) by a state or county child welfare agency can claim the maximum credit regardless of their expenses.

The maximum amount of the credit for 2013 is $12,970.

Additional information is available at http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/FAQs.

Working Group Encourages Leaders to Remember Refundability

On December 14, the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group sent letters to House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sandy Levin, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, and President Obama. The letters thank them for their support of the federal adoption tax credit and encourage them to continue to consider refundability in in discussions related to the adoption tax credit. 

Read the letters:

Webinar Recording & Slides Available

On October 4, the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group (ATCWG) held a free webinar: Advocating to Save the Adoption Tax Credit. Contents included:

  • ATCWG’s mission and goals
  • history of the adoption tax credi
  • the current status of the credit
  • explanation of what flat for special needs and refundable mean
  • advocacy tips and tools
  • advocacy strategies from an adoptive parent

You can view the slides or view a recording of the webinar (choose either the Windows media version or an mp4 file). For the recording, depending on your browser, you may need to right-click or control-click the link and select Save Link As to download. Please note that there are about 40 seconds of silence before the webinar begins and another period of silence about 40 minutes into the webinar.

Senate Adoption Tax Credit Bill Is Introduced

On September 21, Senators Landrieu (D-LA), Blunt (R-MO), Hutchison (R-TX), and Cardin (D-MD) introduced S. 3616. The bill meets all of the goals of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group to make the adoption tax credit inclusive, flat for special needs adoptions, refundable, and permanent.

In November, Senators Hoeven (R-ND), Mikulski (D-MD) and Wyden (D-OR) became co-sponsors.

We encourage everyone to contact their two U.S. Senators to ask them to become co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill. (Here’s a sample e-mail with information you could also use if you call.) You can find your Senators and their contact information at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.  If you’re from Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, or Missouri, be sure to thank the Senators above for their leadership.

Please note that this is the only bill currently pending in the Senate that would make the adoption credit refundable, and a refundable credit would be accessible to more families and children.

Senator Landrieu explained her support of this legislation: “For families who have generously opened their hearts and homes to a child, the Adoption Tax Credit gives them important assistance along the journey. My husband and I are blessed with two precious, adopted children, and I am hopeful that this credit will encourage others to consider enlarging their families through adoption. I am committed to extending the Adoption Tax Credit and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support families who make the wonderful decision to adopt.” (Read more)