We are pleased to provide you with the following update on the status of the federal Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) and pending legislative efforts related to it. Our progress thus far is very much because of the continued advocacy of the members of this Working Group and we want to encourage you to continue to engage your networks in reaching out to their Representative and Senators to express support for the extension of the adoption tax credit and the inclusion of refundability of the credit.
Update on the Senate Adoption Tax Credit Bill
S. 3616 A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the expansion of tax benefits for adoption enacted in 2001 and to permanently reinstate the expansion of tax benefits for adoption enacted in 2010, and for other purposes, the Senate ATC bill including refundability (the companion to House bill H.R. 4373) was introduced Friday, September 21, 2012 by Senators Landrieu (D-LA), Blunt (R-MO), Hutchison (R-TX) and Cardin (D-MD)! Please begin to reach out to Senators and encourage their support for it and please be sure to take time to thank the above four original Co-Sponsoring Senators for their tremendous leadership as well.
Update on H.R. 4373: Making Adoption Affordable Act of 2012
There are now 29 co-sponsors of this bill! While this is a good start, we would like to see even more Members support this legislation. Please continue to contact U.S. Representatives about H.R. 4373 – especially if they are a Republican Member of Congress or sit on the House Ways & Means Committee (http://waysandmeans.house.gov/About/Members.htm). This bill and this issue are bipartisan – but recently H.R. 4373 gained several Democrats as new cosponsors, so we need to work together to keep this bill evenly supported.
The Adoption Tax Credit is likely to be included in a package of other tax credits that need to be extended, and we expect such a package to be considered by Congress sometime after the election. The Middle Class Tax Cut Act, which passed in early August, included an extension through 2013 of the ATC without refundability, and the House passed H.R. 8 with a straight extension of the ATC without refundability. These bills may or may not reflect what could be passed at the end of the year. Since neither of these bills included a refundable credit, we are concerned the final extended credit will also not be refundable. We are working hard to get refundability back on the table and need your help in showing Members that refundability helps foster care adoption and lower to middle income tax filers.
We face three hurdles when it comes to refundability. First, it adds to the cost in a time when Members are looking to scale back most proposals. Second, certain Members have expressed concerns that refundable credits in general have an increased likelihood of fraud and abuse, and finally, refundability was added to the ATC as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (which is in the center of political debate right now.) We can respond to these concerns in several ways—by noting there has been no evidence of fraud related to the ATC, by explaining that finding children a family saves money over caring for them in foster care, and by reminding Members that the ATC and adoption have always been bipartisan issues. One of the most effective ways to respond to these concerns is by continuing to highlight examples through sharing the personal stories of individual families and/or encouraging families to share their stories directly with their legislators.
Please continue to reach out to and communicate with Members and staffers on Capitol Hill about the refundable ATC so that Members feel pressure to keep the ATC part of any deal that moves in the lame duck session after elections. Our goal remains to have both the above pieces of legislation supported by the majority of Members in the House and Senate, especially Members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee.
Thank you for your efforts in the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group. If we can assist your efforts in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With warm regards,
The Executive Committee
The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group’s Executive Committee:
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Adopt America Network, Christian Alliance for Orphans,
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (Secretariat), Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Joint Council on International Children’s Services,
National Council For Adoption, North American Council on Adoptable Children,
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, ShowHope, and Voice for Adoption.
Additionally, here is a great article highlighting the importance of the adoption tax credit.