The Latest on Advocating for the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC)

Did you know?  Members of Congress working on tax reform have said that for any element of the current tax code to remain, it should do one or all of the following:  1) grow the economy, 2) make the tax code fairer, and, 3) effectively promote an important policy objective. And guess what? A refundable adoption tax credit does all three things.

How does the ATC Save Money? A 2006 study cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau found that “approximately $65,422 to $126,825 is saved for every child who is adopted rather than placed in long-term foster care.” These savings occur even if the adoptive families receive government support. Some savings accrue from the reduced need for direct child welfare services—foster care and court oversight are no longer required.

How does the ATC make the tax code farer and promote important policy objectives? A Refundable Credit Helps All Children Find Families. Without an ATC, some families may not be able to adopt a child. Almost half (46%) of families nationally who adopt from foster care are at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. One-third of all adopted children live in families with annual household incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, meaning many do not have a tax liability and cannot use a non-refundable tax credit.

Therefore: The ATC should be included in any comprehensive reform of the tax code.

Please Act today by reaching out to tax staffers in Congress!  You can cite points from the ATC Tax Reform Letter to make sure your Members of Congress are aware of how important the adoption tax credit really is and how it fits within the three goals outlined above. Rather than reaching out again generally, try to reach the staff member in each office who handles tax issues. Call the offices of your Members of Congress, explain that you are a constituent and ask for the name of the staff member who works on tax issues. Leave a voicemail and/or send an email to that person. Make sure you tell your story and talk about the importance of the credit to your family. Please also consider reaching out to Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee to be sure they are also aware of these important facts.

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