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William Perez

Enhanced Adoption Credit for 2010

By October 4, 2010

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For 2010, Congress decided to enhance the adoption tax credit by making the tax credit larger for the years 2010 and 2011 and by making this tax credit refundable. One question I've heard quite frequently is, will carried over adoption credits from previous years be included in the refundable portion of the adoption credit for 2010. There's some exceedingly good news on this particular topic.

Carryover Credits are Refundable

"An amount of an adoption credit claimed in an earlier taxable year that a taxpayer carries forward to a taxable year beginning in 2010 is allowable as a refundable tax credit," according to interim guidance released by the Internal Revenue Service (Notice 2010-66). Before this particular tax credit was revised as part of the health care reform legislation, any adoption credits in excess of a person's federal tax liability could be carried over to the following year, where in offset that year's tax. And if there were still excess credits, the adoption credit would continue to carry over for up to five years. But now that the adoption credit is refundable, any carried over credits from previous years can be cashed out, so to speak, on the 2010 tax return.

Substantiating Documents Now Required

The Internal Revenue Service also announced further guidance regarding the adoption credit. Starting with 2010 tax returns, people will need to submit documentation with their tax return to prove they are entitled to the adoption credit. Individuals will need to attach copies of various documents to their tax return and mail their tax return to the IRS for manual processing. That means, taxpayers who are claiming the adoption credit will not be eligible to electronically file their return. Acceptable documents to substantiate that an adoption has become final include:

  • An adoption order or decree,
  • A Hague Adoption Certificate,
  • An IH-3 visa, or
  • Foreign adoption decree translated into English

If an adoption is not yet final, taxpayers will need to include documents such as:

  • An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number for the child,
  • Completed home study by a placement agency,
  • Hospital document authorizing the release of a newborn to the adoptive parents,
  • A court order, or
  • An affidavit (original) or statement (notarized) from an adoption attorney or government official

Individuals can claim the full amount of the adoption credit ($13,170 for 2010) for a special needs child, even if the person hasn't spent the full $13,170 on out of pocket adoption expenses. Such taxpayers will need to include a copy of the state determination of special needs.

Because these adoption papers may contain sensitive information, the IRS will permit the adoptive parents to "redact sensitive personal information from an adoption order or decree or a special needs determination," although the IRS says they want still want to see the unredacted version should the need arise.

2010 Forms Available for Preview

The IRS also released a draft version of the 2010 Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses. As you can see at the bottom of page 1, the 2010 adoption credit will be the sum of the 2010 adoption expenses plus the amount carried over from 2009, and the total will be sent to line 71 of the 2010 Form 1040 (draft version), where it will be treated like a payment.

October 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm
(1) Jason, Bloomington, IL says:


THANK YOU! This is very beneficial information! It’s so hard to get a square answer on this subject. I have one additional question. Please forgive me for the ignorance of this question.

We adopted a child in 2006 and are finalizing another adoption in 2010. I have about $8,000 still carrying over from our previous adoption creditn and will be applying for the 2011 credit. Because of where I fall each year with charitable giving, number of dependents, etc, I basically have a zero tax liability. So I get very little of the tax credit back for adoption.

My question: Does this new provision mean I can get that $8,000 back as a refund check next year, and the $13,000 back as a check in 2011? Regardless of my zero tax liability?? Just trying to figure out what this really means in terms of dollars and cents.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!!!


October 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm
(2) Jason, Bloomington, IL says:

Jason again . . . one revision . . . we are finalizing our second adoption in 2011, not 2010 . . . typo!

June 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(3) KAREN says:

Absolutely! I am a full-time care provider (I provide care for individuals in my home) and my stipends are tax-exempt therefore I was unable to use the credit for the children I adopted in 2005 and 2009. The new legislation allows adoptive parets to file for and receive the new refundable adoption credit. I have several friends who are also care providers, like I am, and they have received their refunds.

If you haven’t filed an amended return, that is the first step toward getting your redfundable adoption credit.

Good Luck!

June 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm
(4) marilyn says:

we adopted our four kids in 2006, what does the govt consider special needs? i wonder why our cpa did not tell us about this tax credit?

October 12, 2011 at 10:17 am
(5) Burt McDaniel says:

We adopted once in 1997 and once in 1999. We have continued to roll approximately 11K in credits forward each year.
When we heard about the adoption credit refund, my accountant found what looks like a 5 year limit on rolling these credits forward.
Is that accurate? Can we continue rolling them forward? Any hope of participating in the refund program for 2010 taxes?
Your help is appreciated.

October 20, 2011 at 8:59 am
(6) BJ says:
October 15, 2010 at 3:00 am
(7) Trina says:

Jason. Yes that is exactly what it means. :-) We adopted four special needs and will be getting $48,600 ( we adopted in 2009)

February 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm
(8) kevin W says:

did you have carry forward? and if so what happened to it? did you get that too?

February 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm
(9) Chuck says:

We finalized our adoption of 2 special needs children in 2007. My understanding is that I can receive the full $13,100 for each child plus any carry over is this correct? My tax people are saying only the carryover is refundable; a difference of $26,000. Which is correct?

April 14, 2011 at 6:38 am
(10) susanna says:

H@R Block states I’m not entitle to the Adoption Tax Credit.

I was granted with special needs children and granted
for Non Recurring Adoption Expenses Reimbursement.
that paid the attorney.

CPS paid directly the attorney.

Does this disqualifys me.

February 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm
(11) Francisco says:


I have a similar question as Jason but because this is my first adoption and I still am not sure I understand your answer.

Basically, I had $6K taken out for taxes from my paycheck. With my itemized deductions we would get back a $3K refund. With our adoption credit of a special needs child Turbo Tax says my refund should will be $16K.

How can I get more money back than what was taken out of my paycheck, or will something carry over to next year?


February 22, 2011 at 5:49 am
(12) William Perez says:

Francisco, the recently revised adoption credit is one of a few refundable tax credits that can produce a refund larger than the amount of money you have paid in.

April 14, 2011 at 6:27 am
(13) susanna says:

I received non-recurring adoption expenses reimbursement.
Which was a a one time 1500.00 to pay my attorney for the
adoption. It also states adoption of a special needs child.

H@R block states I didnt pay out of my own pocket therefore
I dont receive the Adoption tax credit.

But I was granted this money I didnt get it in check or cash.
CPS just turnaround and gave my attorney the check.

June 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm
(14) Karen says:

Susanna, Find another tax preparer. You are entitled to that refundable adoption credit. You will need to file an amended return for 2010. You will need child’s SS#, adoption decree, statement from you state CPS that the child is special needs andthe r amended birth certificate for the child (Showing you as the parent).


October 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm
(15) Adam says:

So here is a question I haven’t been able to find an answer to. We will be traveling to Ethiopia to adopt our son November 28th. The adoption is finalized in Ethiopia but we don’t get to bring our son home until January. (under an IR-3 visa) So the adoption is finalized in 2010 but he doesn’t become a citizen until 2011. When do I get the tax credit?

October 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm
(16) Lisa says:

Can you clarify, I was under the impression the adoption had to be finalized to get the tax credit; but notice you indicate above options for if the adoption isn’t finalized? I am asking cause we are looking for placement early 2011 in hopes of finalizing prior to end of the year to get the tax credit. But, if the adoption doesn’t have to finalized, you just have to have placement, we would rather push it off to the middle or later in the year as I don’t become FMLA eligible until after June, leaving us most likely unable to finalize prior to the end of the year but still having placement.

Also, do you happen to know if they plan on extending it to 2012 or will it just revert back to the old numbers?



February 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm
(17) Wendy says:

As long as the child/ children are US born then you can file before the adoption is final. You can even file for monies you pay out for adoption expenses even if the adoption never becomes final. I filed after 2 failed adoptions. You need either the child’s SS# or you can file for a ATIN#. I read this on the IRS web-site several years ago and to be sure I even called them. When I went to have my taxes done I printed out the info and brought it with me.

February 4, 2011 at 11:58 pm
(18) Heather says:

We had a failed adoption in 2010…..can we claim that towards our adoption tax refund now or do we have to wait a year?

September 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm
(19) Pam says:

Hope you can help. We have had our foster baby since his birth…11-12-10. Adoption subsidy has been approved for him as a special needs child.Adoption petition has been filed with the court. Attorney says our adoption will not be final until January 2012. Will we qualify for the refundable 2011 credit since adoption will not be final in 2011…but at the very beginning of 2012? Thanks

May 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm
(20) Susan says:


Just a little FYI on FMLA that I recently found out. You can take FMLA only when child is placed with you. So if child was placed for foster care thats when they start the time you can take FMLA not when you adopt. Our children were placed for foster care January 2009 and adopted them August 2010.I had a year from placement to take FMLA not a year from adoption. I didnt realize this and was planning to take FMLA after we adopted our kids and couldnt due to FMLA is when the children are placed with you.


June 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(21) Karen says:

Susan, The ability to take FMLA is for parents in the workforce who have a child by birth or adoption. The placement of said child as a pre-adoptive placement is basically considered foster care. I took placement of an infant in 2004 but wasn’t able to adopt until August 2009. I took FMLA after the adoption of this child. I had to bring THEIR paperwork describing the situations in which FMLA was allowed. The document read that FMLA would be granted upon the adoption or birth of a child. So, five years after placement I was able to take the FMLA.


October 21, 2010 at 9:10 am
(22) Crystal says:

I have some questions.. I just completed the adoption for 2 special needs children in Sept 2010. What do I need to prove to the IRS that they are special needs children? They came from the foster care system so I have paperwork from that. Also I completed it in 2010 so does that mean I need to take the credit when I file my taxes in Feb 2011? Sorry but there is one more question… I am self employed and I have put all of my income back into my business this year since I am trying to build it up securely. So I will own NO taxes. Will I still be eligible of the Adoption Tax Credit if I don’t owe any taxes?
Thanks for your help!

March 22, 2011 at 12:53 am
(23) ana says:

i have that same question..my adopted are not mental or physycally deasble…but they came from foster care..will that count for special needs to he irs?

March 27, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(24) LISA says:

Crystal, good news. I adopted in 2010 and i owed no taxes but still got the credit. you get this credit regardless. i went to an accountant and he did the paperwork for me and all you have to do is send the papers from the states subsidy plan and final adoption decree with your tax paperwork and you will get $13,170. per child. a child adopted from foster care is considered special needs just seek an accountant and you will get a total of $26,340 regardless of what you owe or not. I was so shocked myself. I’m glad i could help you..Heres a number that can answer all your questions…It is the North American council on adoption children at 651-644-3036. This was on the paperwork the judge handed me at the adoption ceremony it helped with all of my questions…GOD BLESS

July 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm
(25) Barbara says:

Lisa: Do you mean the IRS actually refunded you the amount of $13.170? Or is this a credit that you can deduct any future monies owed to IRS?

I cannot believe they actually give you a check for this? I just completed an adoption in July, 2012,

June 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm
(26) Rachel says:

If you receive adoption subsidy, they are considered special needs. And your subsidy agreement is what you would need to send in.

October 24, 2010 at 2:02 am
(27) Cathy says:

Does anyone know how to prove that you adopted a special needs child? It said “state documentation”…..would this be dr.’s letter etc?

January 24, 2011 at 8:27 am
(28) Kristina says:

I adopted my 3 children through the state foster care system. They determined that my children were special needs. They have a form or letter that they have to fill out in order for that to be determined. Check with the adoption acency that you adopted through. They should be able to assist you with getting that paticular document.

January 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm
(29) John Bellamy says:


Can you help me to understand this whole adoption credit thing? We adopted 3 girls in 2008, and we have no idea how to go about claiming this credit , and we dont understand what the “carry over” is. We need help understanding. Thank you, John Bellamy ***

July 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm
(30) Barbara says:


I have a paper from the social service that says the child is a special needs child. It is my understanding that if the child’s parents’ rights were terminated, or if the child has any health type problems, they are considered “special needs” children.

You get this paperwork a couple of months before the adoption is final. Mine isn’t final until 8/5/12.

I believe most of them are special needs children.


October 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm
(31) Brenda says:

NACAC (North American Council on Adoptable Children) info interprets that the IRS
instructions to mean that if a child receives adoption subsidy assistance the adoption subsidy agreement is evidence that the state has determined that child has special needs….mu understanding

October 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm
(32) Jennifer says:

Hi Everyone!

i am soo confused. I have adopted three children that are special needs. Two were adopted in 2007 and one in 2009
My tax liability in 2009 was 403 dollars so I guess there would be a carry over for that, right? I never files a tax credit for the tewo in 2007 because they told me I had no liabiltiy and it wouldn’t be worth it. Should I ammend and claim the credit so that when I file in 2010 I can receive all of it back or am I just dreaming??? meaning I techinally would have 22,000 credit for 2007 and 13,000 for 2009 minus the 403 they credited. Any advice would be great!!!
Thank Jenn

February 11, 2011 at 9:30 am
(33) Lisa Lopez says:

Yes, you should. Based on the information provided, you could have been carrying the balance of the credit over for five years.

February 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm
(34) Shelly says:

Jennifer, we adopted two special need children in 2007 We claimed a credit 2007, none in 2008 , and a credit in 2009. we are carrying forward the remaining credit on our 2010. we still are not sure this is real but we will see. It would be worth you to amend your returns. Not as hard as you think. Then you can carry-forward your credit to this year. Good Luck.

October 29, 2010 at 1:20 am
(35) David says:

This is very beneficial. I’m confused about something, perhaps you can answer this: We are in the process of adopting a child. We paid expenses in 2009 and will pay the rest in 2010. Our adoption will not be final until 2011. This article seems to indicate that our 2009 and 2010 expenses are refundable despite the adoption not being finalized, with the proper paperwork. Is this really true? Everything else I have seen indicates that nothing can be refunded until the adoption is finalized. We have a completed home study and can obtain a ATIN. Where can I go to get a definitive answer?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

November 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm
(36) Brigid says:


I have a question re: if a couple adopts a special needs child and the child qualifies for Adoption Assistance based upon an “At-Risk” status (done for children who do not demonstrate special needs at the time of adoption, but are at high risk of devoloping special needs later on ie. due to poor pre-natal care, inter-utero drug exposure, etc.). Therefore their monthly subsidy is $0 which remains in place unless the child exhibits needs at a later time and then the adoptive parents can request an AA amendment to get a subsidy amount based upon the needs exhibited. The child does have MA through qualifying for AA – At-risk status. Since the actual monthly subsidy is $0, would the adoptive parents qualify for the Adoption tax credit?

January 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm
(37) Amy says:

Yes….They are still special needs and even thought the amount is $0 at this time….they are still high risk and “special needs”……

January 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(38) DC says:

I am in same boat. Daughter high risk for future needs. Paperwork signed by physician. Have adoption subsidy agreement that states I receive medical insurance and lawyer fees only at this time, with monthly subsidy of 0$. I would assume that she will qualify. But am unsure. My adoption decree states that she is special needs. Please let me know if you get an answer.

November 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm
(39) Shannon says:

Do you still get the tax credit if you adopted through the division of youth and family services and they paid all expenses? We adopted our foster daughter and she is considered a “special needs / hard to place” child. I have no ides how to handle all this

February 11, 2011 at 9:31 am
(40) Lisa Lopez says:

Yes, DYFS adoptions are ALWAYS considered special needs, and you receive the full amount of the credit even though you had no expenses.

February 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm
(41) Bryan says:

lisa, we adopted from dyfs nj and receive a subsidy every month. now according to the irs they want a determination letter from dyfs stating she is special needs. the only thing we ever got was a “form” letter from dyfs welcoming us to the subsidy program and thats it. her checks say adoption subsidy on them but no letter of determination… any help? or anyone else from nj dyfs have advice?

November 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm
(42) Carrie says:

I’ve noticed that many of you have similar questions. I thought I would post this in the hopes that it would clarify things for some of you. I am in the process of adopting 4 special needs children, so I’ve done research on this tax credit. For those of you wondering about the “special needs” part, you can find out if the children you are adopting are considered special needs by checking on this website: http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy/stateprofiles.html

Since the special needs determination is made by the state in which you live, go to the page listed above, click on your state, and scroll down for information. Near the beginning of the info, it will give a list of requirements for the child to be considered special needs. Now this is mainly for those of you adopting a child through a state-run agency. Once you know that your child is a special needs child, as the agency from which you adopted to provide you with a signed piece of documentaion stating that the child is special needs.

Now, for the other forms of proof you need, like evidence that the child is in the process of being adopted, well, that same agency worker should be able to provide that for you as well.

And for Jennifer, YES, refile your taxes. I know it will be a hastle, but it is definately worth the effort and the headache it might cause to get the money you are entitled to. Good luck to you all!!

November 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm
(43) Maria says:

Is there any way to get a benefit for a 2004 adoption out of this? The foreign adoption was finalized in 2004, but income was to low to get any carryover until 2010. Are we out of luck?

November 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm
(44) deana says:

I can’t find my adoption decree! I adopted two children from Russia in 2007 and still have about $10,000 in carry over. I have their Russian Passports with the Visa inside and copies of the post placement reports as well as their certificates of citizenship, but I can’t seem to find the adoption decrees.

Does anyone know if I have to have the actual decree?


February 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(45) Suzanne says:

Yes, you need a lot of original documentation.

irs.gov Frequently Asked Questions on adoption benefits:

Keep the following documents to make sure you get any credit that is allowable:

-receipts for qualified adoption expenses,
-entry visas for foreign adoptions,
-final decree, certificate or order of adoption,
-home study by an authorized placement agency,
-child placement agreements or court orders, and
determination of special needs status by a State or the District of Columbia.

Here is the web address for FAQ: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=231663,00.html

November 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm
(46) Matt says:

@Jennifer – You received some very bad advice from whoever told you not to claim your credit in 2007. You only have a couple of months left to amend your 2007 return.

You most assuredly need to file and amended return for 2007. And unless you are saying only $403 of your credit was used in 2009, you should amend 2009, also. You should not have owed any taxes with that credit – unless you are very high income earner.

November 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm
(47) Matt - again says:

@Jennifer – And, actually, you will need to amend 2008 and 2009, anyway, to show the carried forward credit so you can claim that refund in 2010.

Enjoy your refund and take a trip!

December 10, 2010 at 1:32 pm
(48) Amanda says:

I’ve searched online and can’t find the answers so I’m hoping you can help. I adopted a sibling group of 6 children, all special needs children, in June. Does that mean that I get 6 adoption credits?!?! I’ve never heard of such a thing.

December 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm
(49) Barbara says:

@ Amanda, your answer is yes. You receive a credit for each child. The idea behind the credit is to get the children out of the system by providing an incentive to families who would have adopted them anyway. Sort of like an extra thank you from Uncle Sam. And as far as I can tell there is no limit to the amount of children you can claim.

December 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm
(50) pat says:

I adopted 1 grandaughter in the spring and 1 this week. 1 receives a subsidy 1 does not. my only income this year has been unemployment and foster care subsidy. do i qualify for credit?

December 22, 2010 at 11:58 am
(51) Veronica says:

Deana, I don’t think you need the documents, since you claimed the credit previously. As I read it, only adoptions in 2010 and onwards will need docs attached.

February 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm
(52) Maureen says:

No, that is wrong. In order to get the carryover adoption credit refunded to you, you must have the adoption decree. You would have one from the state if your state required you to re-adopt your foreign child once you got back to the US.

December 24, 2010 at 1:19 am
(53) Jackie says:

I have a situation similiar to Jennifer’s. I adopted a special needs child in 2006. I had a tax preparer do my taxes and was not given this deduction is it, too, late now? I understand you only have 3 years to file an amendment. It seems that if you can carry the credit over for 5 years that you should be able to make an amendment for 5 years, also. Especially since I was not aware of the credit and the person doing my taxes should have known or maybe they didn’t explain it well to me and I didn’t understand. Anyway, since he has, also, just been diagnose with autism this would be a big help. Please let me know if this is possible or not.

December 29, 2010 at 8:50 pm
(54) Lucy says:

I adopted my son in 1996 from Romania, before tax deductions for adoptions were allowed. However, during this year we finalized the adoption to fulful Alabama laws. (We had to “readopt”.) I am hoping to use the legal costs we had this year, but is there any way I can claim any of the other very large expenses from the original adoption?

December 30, 2010 at 12:00 am
(55) Lori says:

We adopted 2 children in Feb 2010, that we fostered and received a letter from our adoption attorney along with two documents stating both were special need. Contact the attorney that handled your adoption and ask them about this…

January 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm
(56) Gina says:

Hopefully I’m not leaving a question that’s already been answered. We paid adoption fees to our agency in 2009, for a domestic adoption. We got the call on 12/29 that a birthmom chose us and the baby will be born in 4/11. Can we claim the credit since it’s been more than a year since we paid those fees? When can we submit for the credit? Thanks so much!

February 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(57) Wendy says:

@Gina. I am pretty sure the answer is yes! Any monies you pay out can be added up together and then when the adoption is final all be claimed. That’s what we did.

I also wanted to let anyone else know that I found out that if you pay out money to adopt a US born child and then adoption falls through (birth-parent choses to parent the child) then you can still file for the adoption credit. You can either try to get the child’s SS # or you can get your lawyer to write up a paper saying what happened and then file that with the IRS and get a ATIN# for the child. This number is used in place of the child’s SS# for the purpose of the adoption credit. My husband and I had two failed adoptions and claimed the tax credit using one childs SS# and one ATIN#. We finally a year later were blessed with our daughter and a year after that adopted her birth-sister too!!

January 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm
(58) WENDY says:


April 11, 2011 at 9:32 am
(59) Michelle says:

There may be hope for you. I came across this http://www.nacac.org/postadopt/taxcreditbefore2010.pdf

It states that you only have three years to amemend but you can still go back you just can’t use any credit you may have had the years prior. It is worth looking into it.
Hope it works out for you.

January 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm
(60) Kathlene says:

Hi Wendy,
I’m a tax accountant. It will be a pain but you can get your money. Your tax returns from 2005-2009
will need to be amended, showing the adoption credit and the carryover amounts. Then when you file your 2010 return the carryover amounts will be refunded
to you….The experts disagree on what paperwaork is needed to be attached as the IRS instructions are vague. I’m advising my clients to include a copy of the finalized adoption, copy of the adoption subsidy agreement, a monthly statement of the adoption subsidy deposit, and if applicable their Social Security Disability forms. My philosophy has always been that I would rather include too much than having them come back months later asking for more info….I am also telling my clients to not expect checks until summer.

January 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm
(61) Pam says:

Hi Kathlene,

I am in the same situation as Wendy. My understanding is that I can’t amend a return older then three years, so how do I fix the fact that the form for the adoption credit wasn’t put onto our return in 2006, which is when our child was adopted? I can amend 2007-2009, but can I add him to a year after we actually adopted him without having our 2006 return showing him on it?

January 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm
(62) John Bellamy says:

I need help understanding this, I am sooo Lost! We adopted 3 girls in 2008, they were determined to be special needs children, we fostered them first, so the state paid for all of the adoption expenses except for about $100 total. Now when I did my takes in 2009 and 2010 Turbo Tax took me thru questions about the adoption and the adoption credit, I honestly cannot say if we got anything extra by using the adoption credit or not, seems like we did not get extra money, if we did get any, it wasnt enough to notice. I am so confused as what to do now. I dont know what the carryover means, or anything, I am Lost. Someone PLEASE help me, as you all do, I want all that is coming to me, but dont know how to claim it or if I am even eligible to claim it.
If someone feels in their heart to help me, it would be greatly appreciated. You can call me at: ***Ö.thanks so much. John Bellamy, Warsaw Indiana

February 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm
(63) shelly says:

John, If they did your taxes correctly , you should have credit applied for 2008, and a carry-forward credit for 2009 ,the amount of credit would have just paid the amount of your tax owed ,but for 2010 the carry forward credit is suppose to be a refund. hope this helps.

February 10, 2011 at 12:06 am
(64) Lance says:

Based on your reply to Wendy I called the IRS about amending my 2005 tax return. (This was the year my wife and I adopted 3 children. We did not include the Child Adoption Credit form since all of our federal tax liability was offset by other credits.) The person at the IRS determined that we are ineligible to ament our 2005 return based on the statute of limitations. Naturally, I did not like the answer I received. Can you offer any hope and suggestions that there may still be a way to amend the return so we can carry the unused adoption credit forward to 2010?

January 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm
(65) Erin says:

I adopted 2 special needs children in 2004. I was told I could only claim the credit for 5 consective years, therefore, 2009 taxes could not include the adoption credit. DOES THIS MEAN I LOST OUT ON THIS REFUNDABLE CREDIT BY ONE YEAR? I also heard from another source that you could claim the credit for special needs state adoption until the child turns 18, but the tax preparer disagreed. Does anyone have any info regarding this?

January 11, 2011 at 3:41 am
(66) William Perez says:

Erin, under the previous version of the tax law, the Adoption Tax Credit was a nonrefundable credit that reduce a person’s federal tax liability to at most zero. Any excess tax credits were then carried forwarded to the next tax year, where they reduced that next year’s tax liability, but again not below zero; and so on for up to five years (if the credits weren’t used up before then). Thus an adoption credit from 2004 could have been applied to 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. After 2009 there’s no carryover from any remaining, excess adoption credits from 2004. If that’s your situation, then you have no tax credits going into 2010, and thus no refundable credits either.

June 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm
(67) Diane Whitt says:

My lawyer came across a site that explains about previous years and making amendments. It talks about previous years like 2004. Can you go to that site and let me understand what it is saying and can I amend that year. The site is http://www.nacac.org/postadopt/taxcreditbefore2010.pdf which is the NACAC which is North American Council of Adopted children. This is what it starts off saying.

Adoption Tax Credit for Special Needs
Adoptions Finalized between 2003 and 2009
Most families that adopted foster children who receive adoption assistance between 2005 and 2009, and a few who
adopted earlier, should be able to take advantage of the federal adoption tax credit, even if they had no expenses
related to the adoption. A new law and guidance have now made the tax credit refundable for the first time. [For
non-special needs adoptions (except step-parent adoptions, which do not qualify for the credit), parents can claim
the credit with the same rules as below, except that they have to document qualified adoption expenses.]

January 11, 2011 at 8:54 am
(68) Tara says:

My son was born in August of 2010 and I have had custody of him since September of 2010. I paid all my adoption expenses in 2010, but the finalization did not occur until January 5, 2011. This is a domestic adoption. Will I be able to claim the adoption credit in 2010 or will I have to wait until 2011?

March 26, 2011 at 11:32 am
(69) Shekhar says:

Tara, were you able to obtain any answers to your post. I have a similar situation and I am not sure what my options are.

January 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm
(70) Deb says:

If I have not filed the Form 8839 for the expenses I incurred in 2008, 2009 and we just finalized the adoption in 2010 – do I have to amend my 2008 and 2009 returns to include the Form 8839 so that I can include those expenses on the Form 8839 in my 2010 tax return?

February 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm
(71) Wendy says:

I am 99% sure that you just add everything up and put it all on the 8839 form for 2010 taxes. We had 2 failed adoptions in 2004. We were out a lot of money. Our lawyer told us to keep everything because when we did finalize an adoption that we could add it all up and claim it. OUr daughter was born on 12/30/2004, (ending our horrible year with a huge blessing) we brought her home no Jaunary 3, 2005. Her adoption was finalized on April 11, 2005, and the following January we added up everythnig from 2004 and 2005 and put it all on the 8839 form and claimed it all. I did it on my own at home (I spent lots of time on the phone with the IRS too) and then just to be sure we went and had a professional do the taxes too. I was very pleased with myself when they came up with the same refund amount that I did.

January 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm
(72) Holly says:

Does anyone know when the 8839 form and instructions will be available? I notice it is still in draft form. Thanks!

January 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm
(73) Kristi says:

It was supposed to be January 24, 2011.

But, it has since been changed to February 14, 2011 at earliest (per my call to IRS today).

January 18, 2011 at 9:49 am
(74) Reese says:

We adopted our son (special needs) in 2006 and only received a tax credit for that year. From reading comments, should we have received the tax credit for 2007 – 2010?

January 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm
(75) Keri says:

Only if you didn’t receive the entire credit. If you couldn’t use it all because you maxed out, the rest carries over. Once you use the amount you were allowed for that year, it’s done. It’s a one time deal.

February 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm
(76) Jeanette says:

You only get an adoption tax credit for the year you’ve adopted. If you didn’t use any of it since 2005 it needs to be put on an 8839 and carried forward each year. This year in 2010 when you file your return whatever is carried forward will be a refund.

January 18, 2011 at 11:09 am
(77) Amanda says:

I have a question about the carryover part of the tax credit. We adopted our daughter in 2007 and have a carryover of $6,444. We also finalized our second adoption in December of 2010. Will we be getting the tax credit of $13,170 plus the remaining balance of $6,444 this year, or does it max out at $13,170?

January 20, 2011 at 10:45 am
(78) Sarah says:

@amanda, yes, you will get the $13170 + $6444.

@holly, no, the IRS hasn’t said yet when 8839 will be available. Not before 1/27 as I understand it right now (but that’s the 3rd time it’s been pushed, so it could be longer).

@reese, you need to amend all your taxes to include the adoption tax credit and carryover on your 07-09 taxes if you didn’t show the carryover, then you can claim in on your 10 taxes and get a refund of the carryover.

January 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm
(79) RONNIE says:


March 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm
(80) nickyvw says:

It stays at the 11,650 since that is the year you actually adopted. New adoptions in 2010 would be the larger amount.

January 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm
(81) Derek says:

I think I know the answer to this, but will some one please confirm? We are in the process of adopting a boy born in September of 2010. It will be finalized in late March, 2011; can we file some kind of amended return (or file between when the adoption is finalized and April 15th) and get this credit applied to the return we’ll file this Spring?

January 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm
(82) J says:

Can someone provide a link that substantiates Veronica’s comment that “only adoptions in 2010 and onwards will need docs attached.” I need to know if we need to provide documentation for the credit we claimed in 2009 but have carryover to take this year. Anyone have that info that they can share from an official source????

January 23, 2011 at 1:49 am
(83) Kat says:

From what I have read, we will no longer be eligible to electronically file if using form 8839 and will have to include documentation to prove adoption. Does anyone know if we can fax our tax forms and copies of adoption decree in? I hate the thought of having to mail everything in and risk it getting “lost in the shuffle”.

January 25, 2011 at 11:33 am
(84) Beth says:

You don’t have to submit the originals. Photocopies are fine.

January 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(85) Fred says:

We finalized adopting our 3 foster girls in 2008, 2009, 2010. Because we receive adoption subsides for all 3 girls, the federal sees them as special needs: because of age-teen (2008), behavories problem (2009), health problem (2010). We did not use the adoption credit yet… Can I just add all three girls on the 2010 taxes or do I need to amend our 2008 and 2009 taxes to carryover the credit. If so, does that mean we’ll receive an additional $13,171 x 3= $39,513? WOW!

January 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm
(86) Brad says:

Fred– when you amend your returns for 08 and 09 you will only qualify to carry forward the amount of the credit in those years. 11,650 in 08 and 12,150 in 09 if I remember correctly. Dropping you ALL the way down to 37,000 or so.

January 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm
(87) Lisa Gordon says:

I adopted a special needs child but it was a private adoption now to clain this tax credit I need a “state determination of special needs” I have not been able to find out where or how to get this since we didn’t adopt through a agency.

February 10, 2011 at 11:57 am
(88) Joe Williamson says:


We finalized our private adoption in 2009 and our daughter was determined to be a special needs child by the state we live in. You’ll need to contact your respective states department of social services and inquire about getting this paperwork. In addition, most states offer a state-level credit for special needs adoptions. We qualified for our states (SC) ‘nonrecurring adoption expense’ credit that was paid out as cash directly to us.

I’d contact your local DSS office to get further information regarding this, specifically.

January 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(89) DC says:

I adopted my husband’s niece in 2010. During adoption process the worker had me get paperwork from physician stating that she is high risk for mental illness for several different reasons. My adoption decree states she is special needs. At this time, she doesn’t have any mental illness. She was adopted thru dep of human services. I have an adoption subsidy agreement, it states future needs adoption, adoption subsidy amt 0$. Shows her medical assistance and one time subsidy for lawyer fees. Does anyone know if this qualifies for the adoption credit for special needs. I asked my worker and she stated that it was “a gray area, she gets subsidy in form of lawyer fees and medical, at this time no monthly assistance.” Which was no help at all. Really don’t want to file this credit and then find out I was wrong.

January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(90) Laura says:

I Adopted 3 special needs children in 1997 and was not aware of this Adoption Tax Credit.I’m assuming it is tooo late for me.Is this correct?

January 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm
(91) Julie says:

Hello..We adopted 3 children, with subsidies, from foster care in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Do we qualify for anything? Thanks so much!!

January 27, 2011 at 1:43 am
(92) Dave says:

I feel Erin’s pain because we finalized a foreign adoption of twins in 2004. I’m sure back then we were praying that it would finalize early, but now it looks like we would have been better off had it not because we still had close to $14,000 in unused credit that expired last year.

A question for William and Kathleen and other tax preparers… we didn’t NEED to take the credit in 2004 because we already had a credit from a prior adoption that finalized in 2002. Are we REQUIRED to take the credit in the year an adoption is final? I’m wondering if it would be possible to go back and refile 2004 and NOT take the credit, and move it to 2005 thus preserving the carry-forward until 2010. I’m still shaky on the idea of going back more than three years to re-file, but I’m gathering from other posts that this is still feasible? Thanks for any advice.

January 27, 2011 at 9:59 am
(93) Sue Campbell says:

This seems too good to be true….we adopted 2 special needs children in 2006 and 3 special needs in 2007. We’ve carried over every year, never used any of the adoption tax credit (not needed). Are you serious? THis is a life changing refund if so.

January 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm
(94) Kristi says:

Yes, they’re being serious.

That’s why we have to show proof of our adoptions being special needs or our qualifying expenses and adoption decrees.

There is rumor that a lot of people have been trying to claim biological children as adopted children due to the upcoming tax law changes on the ATC, so that’s why they have to have our proof.

January 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm
(95) Kristi says:

Okay…here’s some “trouble” I’m coming up with.

I realize that the form 8839 is not ready yet.

However, I have H&R Block’s software in my computer for this year.

It asks me to put in my credit carry forward amounts from 2005 to 2009.

We finalized in 2007, so I entered in the 21,900 in 07, 20,500 in 08, and 20,500 in 09.

It coughs up a $61,000 return, as if every carry forward is being retroactive and cashable in 2010.

Surely this is incorrect, right?

We adopted 2, special needs children, and have only used $1400 of our ATC when I was unemployed due to a back injury…it took care of that tax liability in 08.

Shouldn’t the most we get back be the 2009 carry forward, or is this even more good news?

January 31, 2011 at 10:32 pm
(96) Chris says:

H&R Block software and online is having problems with the adoption tax credit section of their program. You should only get back what you have remaining which would be your carryforward from last year. I am having trouble with my carryforward as well. I have chatted online and called. They don’t have an answer. Maybe after the forms from the govt are complete, they will get it stiaghtened out.

February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm
(97) Brenda Reedy says:

We are also having trouble with our carryover amounts, we adopted our 2 kids in 2006 (they moved in Dec 2005 but we finalized Nov 2006) We took the credit starting in 2006, it carried forward a balance of 19,000ish dollars for 2007. Then I looked over our 2007 carried forward balance and it rose to 40,000ish!!! Then in 2008 and 2009 we had some rididulous amount and it looks like 35,000ish was carried over to use this year but that doesn’t seem possible since it started out a 10,960 for each kid in 2006……..we use Turbo Tax and did it step by step. Anyone else have this oddity and if so, how did you fix it?? Would appreciate any help without having to pay and arm and a leg to fix it. Thanks.

February 19, 2011 at 11:48 am
(98) Bill says:

We are having the same issue with Turbo Tax. We adopted 5 special needs kids in 2006 and have been claiming the credit ever since. Went step by step through Turbotax and am supposed to get huge refund that can’t be right. I called them, spoke to a rep who had no clue. At first he said it was an IRS problem, then told me to file and I’d get back what I had coming. Then he told me that maybe that was what I was really supposed to get back.

January 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm
(99) Bob says:

Since I now see that the paperwork may not even be finalized until after Feb 14. Would it be better to file our taxes this year without it and then after the forms get release go back and ammend our taxes. I know that I have to go back and ammend for one of my sons that I adopted in 2005 that I never knew that I could carry this forward. I only found out about it last year with my second and then I didn’t know that I could ammend for the other.

February 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm
(100) Bob says:

Thank you for the reply. I did not know about ammending the 2010 tax return.

January 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm
(101) Brandi Fought says:

We finalized two special needs adoptions in 2010. Both adoption were through a private agency. We receive SSI for one child monthly, but the process is still pending for our other child. What exactly is a state determination of special needs. I do not have anything through CPS, or DFPS regarding my children as they were through a private agency. I do; however, have our adoption contract with states their needs as well as many medical reports with diagnoses on it. Does that count? Please help!!!

January 30, 2011 at 1:20 am
(102) Nancy says:

I adopted two children through foster care in 2005 because they are a sibling group and were over age 5 it was considered a special needs adoption. I haven’t been able to use the Adoption credit since I didn’t make enough, so I had a carry over in 05, 06 and 07. I don’t remember claiming it in 2008 and in 2009 it looks like I was able to use $1266 and my 2009 tax returns says my carry over is $65,000 could that be correct? I wouldn’t be getting back that much? Would I? Also would I need to amend 2008 return to include for 8839?

January 30, 2011 at 10:27 am
(103) Trista says:

We adopted 2 children in March 2009. We have a carry forward of 24,000. Just wondering if this means we just get the carry forward. Or the carry forward plus the tax credit of 13170??

January 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm
(104) John Bellamy says:

Hello, I have a lot of questions about the adoption credit, one of them is: how do I know how much carry forward that I have?

Thank you, John Bellamy ***

January 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(105) John B says:

I need help understanding this, I am sooo Lost! We adopted 3 girls in 2008, they were determined to be special needs children, we fostered them first, so the state paid for all of the adoption expenses except for about $100 total. Now when I did my takes in 2009 and 2010 Turbo Tax took me thru questions about the adoption and the adoption credit, I honestly cannot say if we got anything extra by using the adoption credit or not, seems like we did not get extra money, if we did get any, it wasnt enough to notice. I am so confused as what to do now. I dont know what the carryover means, or anything, I am Lost. Someone PLEASE help me, as you all do, I want all that is coming to me, but dont know how to claim it or if I am even eligible to claim it.
If someone feels in their heart to help me, it would be greatly appreciated. You can call me at: ***….thanks so much. John Bellamy, Warsaw Indiana

February 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm
(106) Jeanette says:

If you adopted three children in the same year and did not use the adoption tax credit that year or any year after and they are considered special needs and you don’t make over $188,000 (or something to that effect) then you will get the adoption tax credit times 3 for the year they were adopted. In 2005 I adopted my daughter and the adoption tax credit was 10,630. That’s the ammount that I get back since I never used it. My tax person never put the adoption tax credit on the 1040 so I will have to amend that year and every year after. If you go to http://www.nacac.org there is a letter written to Congressman Ellison explaining a lot of this. It is confusing, but it’s real. I spoke to Marilyn Brookens yesterday for about an hour and she explained it all to me. The credit does expire after 5 years and that’s why they are letting people amend their tax returns if it was never put on their tax returns in 2005 and 2006. If you need anymore help you can email me at Jeanettiespad@aol.com It’s going to be so fun taking my kids to disneyland this summer!!! You will have to mail in your tax returns, 8839 and amendments if needed. You will also have to show the order for adoption or adoption decree along with the special needs subsidy form from the state or county in which you receive a subsidy. Jeanette

January 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm
(107) Tiff says:

I have the same question as Krisit. We finilized adoptions in 2007 and 2008 so have carryover every year since then. When I enter my information in it tells me my refund is going to be the total of the amount of my carryover from each of those years. Is that correct? I was assuming I would only get what my 2009 return said my carryover was for that year. Any help would be appreciated.

January 31, 2011 at 9:26 am
(108) ddaous says:

can i amend this years return and still get the credit……i heard it takes months to get the adoption refund..

February 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm
(109) Wendy says:

I believe you can! Also I’ve claimed the adoption credit for 4 previous years and I mail it in and have direct deposit to my bank. I’ve always got my money in 2-4 weeks. Not months.

January 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm
(110) Melody says:

I would appreciate if anyone has a link as to HOW to file the amendment for previous tax years. We adopted in 2008 and did not claim the tax credit. Can the amendment be sent in at the same time I file my 2010 taxes or do I have to wait for the amendment to be approved?

January 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm
(111) Brandi Fought says:

I still need help. I have spoken to the IRS twice and our adoption agency once. What I am finding is that because we adopted through a private agency we will not qualify for the full adoption tax credit even though both of our children have special needs. I am at a loss. Is that correct? My son receives SSI benefits due to his disabilities, and my daughter is pending SSI benefits. All my research is pointing me that only those that have adopted through CPS qualify for this credit. Can anyone please give me some guidance? We live in a very small town and use our local H&R for taxes. They literally have no idea what this is all about and are asking us to help them!!

Please feel free to call and/or email me if you can help!

254 334 9117

January 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm
(112) Lucy says:

We had to readopt our Romanian-born son this year to meet requirements for the state of Alabama. Are readoptions treated as original adoptions? We adopted before tax credits came into being. He is now 16.

January 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(113) Kathy says:

my husband and I adopted our son from my neice, this is not considered a family adoption, this was the end of 2009. at that time we only had 1450. paid into the attorney. THis is where it comes complicated… the wrong father was named in the adoption. so we have been fighting to keep the adoption legal all of 2010. we still don’t have it completed yet. Can we claim the amount of 6500. we paid to the attorneys and courts? We still have our son. As for the world we are still his parents. How does this play into the new law?

January 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm
(114) Anna says:

These resources should answer many of the questions I’ve seen here:



February 1, 2011 at 8:42 am
(115) Cyndi says:

We adopted two special needs children, they are biological siblings, one with bipolar and rad, the other was a meth baby with severe gerd, we have the adoption assistance agreement stating both will recieve subsidy and medical cards until they are 18 or no longer require either one. First of all, will this form work for proving “specialized” since there is no subsidy for children that aren’t considered specialized in the state of Kansas, and secondly since we adopted in 2008 and have taken the credit for 2008 and 2009 will we be required to send documentation in? Our carryforward between the two children is 18127.00.

February 1, 2011 at 8:51 am
(116) Cyndi says:

*We do have all the paperwork required for proof, I was just wondering whether or not we’d be able to file electronically!

February 1, 2011 at 11:04 am
(117) sharon says:

I am adopting 6 kids special needs children that we have been foster parents for. While the process started in 2010 it will not be final until Feb, 2011. When can we claim the credit?

February 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm
(118) maggie says:

Thanks for the information I am looking to adopt 2 children age 4 and 5 from a poland orphanage. the total cost will be $27,000 how do the tax credits work and how can I maximize my ability to get full imbursement on my tax returns.

February 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(119) Mike says:

Anyone know how the credit is affected by the Judge in FL ruling that the Health Care Reform Act is unconstitutional?

February 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm
(120) Evette says:

The adoption of my two kids was finanalized in 2010 and I’m trying to understand the tax credit information, but do you know how long it will take becore the IRS Form 8839 will be available for me to file my taxes?

February 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm
(121) Elizabeth says:

I think our situation is like Deb’s. Our adoption was final in 2010, but a big chunk of our expenses were incurred in 2008. More in 2009 and 2010 (and now even 2011, oh well). The form seems to let us give qualifying expenses for 2009 and 2010–what to do about the 2008 expenses?

I’d be very grateful for any help on this.

(As for the judge’s ruling, already the Wisconsin attorney general asserted he won’t honor the law because of the Florida judge’s ruling, and who knows what other moves people with authority will make–and the appeal could take over a year.)

February 2, 2011 at 10:49 am
(122) Karen says:

When will we be able to file the form. I checked and it is still a “Draft”… have they come out with the final form yet?

February 2, 2011 at 11:08 am
(123) Elizabeth says:

Karen, someone in an earlier comment mentioned mid-Feb. (Dang!)

February 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm
(124) Terri says:

I have a question- we have a foreign adoption in 2008 and according to the IRS it is a finalized adoption, we did get IR-3 visa status, but we did not bring our children home until 2009 due to immigration hold up. A large part of our expesnse occured after our adoption was final. Do we need to file in 2008 and can we file another 8839 in 2009 to claim these expenses or can we file the 8839 in 2009 and include everything

February 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm
(125) Christi says:

Still confused. Please help! We adopted two children from foster care in 2007. They both get the state subsidy payment so I think they qualify as special needs. We have never used any of our adoption credit. I don’t know that we carried it forward. Did we need to fill out a special form to do that??? Anyway, our tax liability has always been 0 so we havent needed to use any of the adoption credit. Do we have to go back and ammend those taxes or can we just fill out the 8839 form this year and get the $13,170 for each child, even though once again our tax liability is 0?

February 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm
(126) Anna says:


From what I understand, you will need to amend your taxes for the year you adopted your children. This link provides information on how to do that and gives links to the forms you will need:

February 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(127) Christi says:

Thanks Anna. One more question. Will we be going off the tax credit amount for the year we adopted or do we use the $13,170 for this year since we have never used the credit before?

February 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm
(128) Mark says:

we adopted two special needs children in 2008 and did not know of this credit so how do we file for 2010 and I file with a injured spouse form will that effect the refund amount

February 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm
(129) Lynn says:

Really hoping someone can clarify this for me. We completed our homestudy in 2008 and paid a separate agency $3,750 to help us find a child. That agency never produced any matches/results for us and the fee we paid was non-refundable.

We renewed our homestudy in 2009 and successfully adopted a child in 2009 through a different agency and had separate attorney fees. All together, we spent about $37,800 and filed for the adoption tax credit on our 2009 taxes and have a small carry-over that we will claim this year.

My question is, can we claim the $3,750 we paid in 2008 to an agency that never produced any match as a failed adoption and get those funds back as a separate adoption credit from the one we took in 2009 (this agency and those fees we paid were in no way connected to our final placement)? I am not exactly sure what the IRS defines as a failed adoption. In our case, there was no baby associated with the agency we paid in 2008, they just never produced a match for us.

August 14, 2011 at 2:54 am
(130) Susanne says:

@Lynn, just learned at a tax seminar today that all costs incurred with unsuccessful attempts at adoption are combined together with the costs of the successful attempt; that is, the tax credit considers these all one attempt, and only issues one tax credit.

February 4, 2011 at 8:05 am
(131) Josie says:

I called the lawyer that did our two special needs 2008 adoptions and she is sending me the Adoption Assistance Agreements that state their name, “a child with special needs.” I already had the Final Judgments of Adoption. I should be all set!

February 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm
(132) Shari says:

We have adopted 4 children with special needs. One of the adoptions was done in 2000, is it too late to get the adoption credit for this one?

February 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm
(133) Jennifer says:

I would like to know if my husband and I would still be able to get the refund if we have only filed one 8839 form in 2008 and used 1188.00. Our income had been too low to use any of the adoption tax credits since 2006 when we adopted our daughter. In 08 our income went up slightly and that was the only year we actually included an 8839 form. Our tax rep said it was not necessary to do the form since our EIC and child tax credits brought us to 0 very quickly. If anyone knows the answer to my question please email me or comment on this page. I just didn’t know if we had to refile our previous taxes in order to show the carryover which between two adopted children will be approx 25,000.00. Thanks jen

February 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm
(134) Sandi says:

I have the same problem as Brenda. We adopted three special needs children in 2003 and have never used the carry forward amount. We also use TurboTax. Our carry forward amount for 2009 is a ridiculous amount of 587,000. That can’t be right. I called IRS and Turbotax, but they said if the numbers are plugged in right from previous years, then the amount will be refunded. I’ll believe it when I see it. Comments????

February 5, 2011 at 12:53 am
(135) Wendy says:

Yeah, I used Turbo Tax too and it says we are getting back over $19,000 I am having trouble believing it!! I read somewhere that TurboTax and other on-line tax services are having trouble with this. They are adding all of the carryforwards from previous years together. I added mine together and got the same number so that appears to be true. I am hoping that on the 17th when the new adoption form is released that TurboTax will have it under control and I can know for sure what we are getting. I sure would love to get the $19,000 We REALLY need it!!

February 5, 2011 at 12:59 am
(136) Wendy says:


Yes, you can claim it now. I have done this before. I had a failed adoption in 2003 and another in 2004. We spent over $12,000 on these two and had nothing but heartache to show for it.

What you need to do is to see if you can either get the child’s SS# if that’s not possible then you can get a ATIN# from the IRS. The ATIN# is a number used in place of the SS# you have to apply through the IRS for it and it is good for 2 years. For us we had the SS# for one child and the other we didn’t so we got a ATIN#. We asked our lawyer to write a letter stating that we paid out money for an adoption that failed. Then you have to have the child’s name too and fill out a form that you can get from the IRS. Mail it in and in a few weeks the paper will come. Just put the ATIN# in place of the SS# use the child’s name and you are all set to get the money back. It’s a great thing but not too many people know about it. I didn’t nor did my lawyer at the time. I was pissed about our loss of money and was researching it and stumbled upon this rule that’s on the IRS web-site. Oh the only thing is that the child has to be a US born citizen.

Hope this helps,


February 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(137) tonya says:

My adoption was final in 09 i have a sibling group of 3 and have not taking the credit do i get for 09 and 10

February 8, 2011 at 1:39 am
(138) mark says:

we adopted 4 boys in 2005 we have 34000 carry over and adopted 2 in 2008 with 24000 carryover does that mean i get all that back thanks

February 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm
(139) j says:

I have a question i paid for someone to prepare my taxes and I had adopted children this year. I had a paper return which they told me i didn’t need to send in proof of my adoption unless IRS asks for it. So will this now prolong my return since I did not mail in the documentation per my tax preparer?

February 10, 2011 at 10:37 am
(140) Anna says:

The North American Council on Adoptable Children is holding a webinar on the adoption tax credit. Dates are 2/10 and 2/16, cost is $15/$20. Parents will be able to ask questions specific to their situation.

Register here:


February 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm
(141) Sandy Mohon says:

Wendy, I have a question regarding your answer to Heathers questions on Feb. 5th. Two years ago, we had a failed domestic adoption and lost about $5,000. Do you know if we would still be able to file a claim for this. We are in the process of an international adoption now – every little bit would help. I didn’t know about this until I found this blog today!!! :)

Thanks, in advance, for your help!

February 11, 2011 at 11:02 am
(142) Christi says:

Ok, doing my taxes right now. Unfortunatly we cannot find our 2007 taxes which is the year we adopted. WE do know however, that we have always e-filed. So does this mean that we have never used any of our credit? Also, does that mean we need to ammend past taxes? If so, do we need to ammend just the year we adopted (2007) or all years? We have never had any tax liablity between 2007- and now.

February 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm
(143) Cathy says:

if I adopted a sibling minority group but all expenses where paid through the state do i still qualify for the adoption tax credit.

February 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm
(144) Angela says:

Are the Title IV eligible? They should definitely be considered “special needs” and therefore you should qualify. What state are you in? Were they adopted from foster care?

February 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm
(145) Angela says:

I have adopted 4 sepcial needs children. Already used the credits for the first two. The remaining adoption credit that we have are for a child adopted in 2008 and one in 2009. This may sound crazy…but we do not want to use it all this year. For reasons that I don’t want to go into on a public board, I would rather wait and use it for the 2013 and 2014 tax year. Is that possible or do we HAVE to use it all this year? Thanks so much!!

February 14, 2011 at 11:33 am
(146) Leslie says:

Like most everyone else…I’m a bit confused. :) Here are my questions…

1. We adopted our daughter in 2005. We used some of her tax credit ($10,630) in years 2005-2009 with a leftover of $2,036 unused credit after 5 years. Do we quailfy for a refund for the unused credit or for any of the credit used? In other words, can we get the $10,630 back as a refund? Or just the $2,036 unused credit back? Or nothing?

2. We adopted our son in 2009 and since his adoption’s out-of-pocket expenses were more than the tax credit of $12,150, we should qualify for the refund on our 2010 taxes. What do we need to give to the IRS to prove that we qualify for the adoption refund? We have both children’s adoption decrees. Do we need anything else?

Thanks for your help!

February 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(147) Robin says:

I adopted 3 children in 2009. 2 were my Foster children and classified as Special Needs and the other was an international adoption from Haiti. I filed on Turbo Tax last year and the adoption tax credit was eaten up by earned income credit because I am also single parent head of household. Will I be able to use the tax credit that wasn’t used up last year? According to Turbo tax, I’m getting back a little over 38K this year. Everyone tells me something different like I have heard that won’t be able to claim the Haiti adoption @ all because she didn’t come home in 2010. Also it took over 3 years to adopt her and her adoption was final in haiti about a year before I was able to finally bring her home on 8/22/2009. Is it considered as final when she came home or when it was finalized in Haiti?

February 17, 2011 at 10:01 am
(148) Jamie Allen says:

I am curious to know if this tax credit applies if my husband adopted my daughter, his step-daughter, in the year 2010. Any information would be appreciated.

February 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm
(149) bryan says:

@jaimie… no

February 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm
(150) georgia parks says:

I adopted a child in 2006 and each year I have received adoption credit. Back in 2006 the amount was $10,960 and in 2011 you increased the amount to $13,170. Which full amount am I allowed to have back. I want to know if I am allowed the different between the amounts of $2210.

I had my taxes done at H&R block the amount on the computer screen came up that I was allowed the amount of $4707, which would include the full amount up to $13,170 remining on my child credit adoption. H&R block adjust the amount on my paper work that I could only get back up to $10,960. I need to know what amount I am allowed to have back. Please call me at 717/242-1344. H&R Block is holding my tax return for 2010 and refuse to let me have my tax return.

February 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm
(151) William Perez says:

Georgia, if your only adoption was in 2006, then it sounds like you have adoption credits that were carried over with some applied to your ’06, ’07, ’08, and ’09 tax returns. In that case, any unused and unexpired adoption credits will be applied to your 2010 tax return and will be made fully refundable (that is, no carryover to 2011).

February 18, 2011 at 10:27 am
(152) Andrew C says:

We are taking placement of an adopted child in March 2011. My job offers Adoption assistance to the tune of $5000. Our total costs with the private agency we are using is about $32,000. Question is does the $5000 that I receive from my job have any effect on what I can claim for my taxes?

February 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(153) Elizabeth says:

We finalized 2 special needs adoptions in 2008 and 1 in 2010. We did the initial form 8839 with our 2008 taxes, which indicated a $23,200 credit (we have 0 tax liability). We did not file a carryover 8839 with our 2009 taxes. For our 2010 taxes we claimed the 13,000 credit from the ’10 adoption and the EIC. We amended our 2009 return through H&R Block Home and sent the amendment to the IRS the first week of February. The ’09 H&R Block figured our 2009 carryover to be the original amount of $23,200. I hope that is right, I thought it would depreciate. Anyhow, we sent our H&R Block Home 2010 tax return via certified mail along with the supporting adoption orders and subsidy agreements. It was delivered on February 12th. The refund amount figured is for $45,499. I am feeling this is too good to be true but keeping my fingers and toes crossed at the same time. Any idea on how long before we’d hear something? Also, if you need more information on the credit, http://www.nacac.org is a valuable resource.

February 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm
(154) angie says:

Bill, your total adoption tax credits would have been $54,800….how much have you used so far? If you have only used, say $20,000, then your refundable credit this year would be the remaining $34,800.

February 21, 2011 at 8:33 am
(155) Kate says:

Jamie Allen – if you read about the credit on the IRS site, it states that it does not apply to stepparent adoptions.

February 21, 2011 at 10:30 am
(156) Genia says:

@ Elizabeth, it looks like you are the first to actually “put in the mail”; please keep us posted on how it goes. I’m putting mine in the mail today, with all my questions answered, but still in disbelief that they would allow such large amounts of money to be paid out. I don’t want to get to confident yet. In other words, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Just FYI on turbotax users, I haven’t checked since 2/18, but form 8839 was not yet avail, they pushed date to 2/24, I think; nevertheless, it took a little time but taxact had the form and since e-filing is not an option anyway, it didn’t cost me anything to print out my federal return. I did not have to opt for the deluxe features, I was able to print and save my return, headin to the PO now, wish myself and everyone else good luck.

February 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm
(157) Cynthia Joy says:

I adopted internationally in 1999 (one child) and again in 2004 (three children). Due to our almost zero tax liability we carried over our 1999 adoption credit for five years but did not use the 2004 adoptions at all. Last year, after a divorce, I tried using the 2004 credits for two of the kids for the first time and it worked! There is now an adoption carryover of $12K on my “federal carryover worksheet page 2″ for 2009. Does this mean I might get that back in a refund? Seems crazy!

February 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm
(158) Max says:

We adopted in 2008 but are now seperated and filed for divorce. Must we file jointly to get the credit?

February 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm
(159) Deb says:

We adopted 2 children, one final in 2003, one in 2004. We had carry over until our 2008 taxes and at that time around $10,000 expired under the laws at the time. 2009 was the first year we could not claim our unused credits, or carry them forward.
What I am hearing is confusing, and what I am reading at the actual IRS website even more so. IRS says “carry forward from 2005-2009″ will be refundable in 2010. It doesn’t seem to say only carry over from an adoption ‘final in 2005′, but also carry over from 2005 credits. So if we still had carry over in 2005-2008, can we get that in 2010 as a refund? Should we ammend our 2009 taxes to show a carry forward of the remaining credit on 2008 taxes in order to be able to claim a refund (even though 2009 would have been year 6 for a carry forward)?
I am getting mixed info from tax preparers as well.
H&R Block, whom I filed some of the years with carry over with a preparer, and whose software I used to file from home for 2009, says NO, I can’t claim any of the carry forward from 2005-2008 in 2010. They say only if we adopted (finalized?) in 2005, and actually had been able to carry forward our unused credits to 2009.
Now Jackson & Hewitt (who is sponsored by Dave Thomas Adoption foundation) says YES, I can claim any of the unused carryforward credit from 2005-2008 on my 2010 taxes as a refund. They understand the “refund of carry forward credits” part to be for the 2010 year only, and retroactive to include any unclaimed credits from 2005-2009. In 2011 they say that the system will return to carry forward of credits against tax liability only, but at the higher rates for amount and incomes.
I remain confused. Is it or isn’t it possible for me?
Please, does anyone else have a good answer? I could really use the funds, so I don’t want to allow the one year opportunity to file get away from me if it is true.

May 3, 2011 at 11:21 am
(160) Sue says:

I am in the same situation that you are in. I had a special needs foster care adoption finalized in 2003 and carried forward the adoption tax credit until 2008.
I did not find out about the 2010 refundable adoption tax credit until after I filed my taxes for 2010.
I was wondering if you were able to claim the refundable adoption tax credit on your 2010 taxes.
Thanks for any help.

May 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm
(161) William Perez says:

Deb and Sue, Unfortunately, carryover amounts for the adoption credit have a lifespan of five years. In Deb’s case, she has one adoption credit generated from the year 2003, and second tax credit generated from 2004. The carryover amounts for her 2003 adoption credit expired as follows: Any excess tax credits from 2003 were carried forwarded to the next tax year 2004, where they reduced that next yearís tax liability, but not below zero (this is the first carryover year). Any excess tax credits would then carry over to 2005 (the second carryover year), then 2006 (3rd year), then 2007 (4th year), then 2008 (the 5th year) was the final year she could use her 2003 adoption credit. Any unused ’03 credits expired on her 2008 tax return. Similar, Deb’s 2004 adoption credits could have bee utilized on her tax returns from 2004 through 2009. After 2009 thereís no carryover from any excess adoption credits from 2004. Thus in 2010 (the year the adoption credit is refundable), Deb has no remaining carryover credits that would generate an additional refund.

This is why the IRS in their instructions mention only adoption credits from the years 2005 through 2010, as those carryover credits are refundable on the 2010 tax return. Although the IRS instructions do not make this clear as to how exactly the carryover feature works.

Thus the preparer from Jackson Hewitt is interpreting the refundable feature of the 2010 tax credit incorrectly. It’s not whether you had carryover credits in any year from 2005 to 2010, it’s whether you have any unexpired adoption credits in 2010 (those credits being generated, at the furthest, from a 2005 adoption). The H&R Block preparer has the better answer here.

Sue, like Deb, any remaining tax credits you had from your 2003 adoption would have expired with your 2008 tax return. There’s no remaining carryovers going into 2009 or into 2010 that can be refunded.

February 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm
(162) Heidi says:

Our tax prepared can’t finish our taxes because he says the form is still a draft. But it sounds like some of you are able to find the form- where?

also he said last year we had about 4000 coming back but this year says that his tax program had been “pyramiding” our carry over and that he thought we were done. What do I do? Has anyone else had this and if so what did you do. Thanks

March 1, 2011 at 11:08 am
(163) Jackie H. says:

I am confused about how the carryforward and tax credit is being calculated. Turbo tax is telling me I can apply a 2009 carry forward for 5K of expenses related to a failed adoption PLUS take 2010 since we had an adoption finlize in 2010. Is this right?

We had a failed adoption attempt in 2009. We had about 5K in expenses that my employer reimbursed us for. We did not qualify for the credit because of the income exclusion. We filed the 8839 for these expenses.

We had a successful adoption finalized in 2010. We now qualify for the credit. We did not have an employer reimbursement in 2010 for this adoption.

March 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm
(164) cherry says:

My husband adopted my children last year will he get the tax credit for that we paid over $8,000 in court and lawyer fees?

March 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm
(165) Corrie says:

My husband and I just found out about the adoption tax credit this year. We did adopt 2 special needs children in 2009. So is it really too good to be true that we will get a $12,150 for each of them if we amend our taxes?? I talked with our tax guy today amd made an appt to talk to him, but have heard different stories about what is refunded, and don’t want to get my hopes up too high.

March 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm
(166) tina says:

Was just wondering if anyone had gotten on Where’s my refund site and it tells you that they have sent a letter requesting information. I attached the adoption decree and the special needs subsidy forms, it also had a link below that said was related to my refund. When I clicked it, it talked about appeal rights for the adjusted amount that they were doing to my taxes? Also, has anyone gotten a check? Someone said that they could make it to you in payments and that they were going to hold them for a long period of time before sending out any refund to us? Thanks

March 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm
(167) Sue says:

Oh thats just great!!!! But, we sent our amended return to include the unused tax credit of our 5 adopted children. The refund was over $50,000. Seeing is believing. My rtax preparer said be prepared for a long drawn out process as the iRS will not just write checks of that amount very quick. But I just mailed mine on Monday. How long before you were able to see the info on their site? I suspect we’ll have many hoops to jump through. We sent our adoption decrees and a letter from the state that we adopted from declaring them as special needs and requesting our refund for our qualifying adopted special needs children. We sent what they asked for. Not sure what else they could want…lol. Thanks for the update, I will check back to see how yours goes.

March 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(168) Elizabeth says:

Tina, We just received the same message today after several refund date changes. Have they sent you a paper letter yet?? I’m curious as to whether they’re actually asking for more personal information or if they’re sending all of us adoption families the same response. I can’t fathom what more we could send in.

April 18, 2011 at 10:46 am
(169) Paula says:

We also have received this letter. I mailed in everything I was suppose to when I filed and then got this letter. I called and was told that the paper trail did not follow to the examiners office so you needed to re-send in all of theinformation. We are still waiting for our refund!!!! That was almost a month ago. I called and I was told there are many reviews and to be patient, HA!

March 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm
(170) Jason says:

My wife and I adopted a little boy in 2005 and had a adoption credit that was used up in 2009. We got back on our adoption agencys list to adopt another child in 2006 and paid about $7,000 of fees. We sat on the waiting list for 3 years until we got a call from our first adopted childs mom that she would like us to adopt her new baby in 2010. At this time, we had gotten off the adoption agencies list at the end of 2009 since they were charging more yearly fees. Now as I am reading the tax language it looks like maybe I should have taken a tax credit on my 2007 return. The problem is that I thought you had to have a child in the plan of adopting since you need to fill out Part 1 of Form 8839. Since there was no child involved can I include the 2006 expenses for the 2010 return?

March 6, 2011 at 10:12 am
(171) stacey says:

I am trying to find out if a FUTURE NEEDS AGREEMENT is considered special needs. My second adoptive son was born to cocaine and when we adopted him they said since he was a baby he would not get a subsidy until diagnosed and had us sign a FUTURE NEEDS AGREEMENT.

March 14, 2011 at 10:10 am
(172) Elizabeth says:

Update: We are still waiting to hear about our refund. We have checked ‘Where’s My Refund’ and have had two refund date changes. We sent the return/documentation on Feb. 10th. It now says we should receive our refund by April 12th. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, lol. Has anyone received a response or check?

March 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm
(173) Kari says:

I mailed my 1040 plus adoption decree and copy of state subsidy agreements for my two adopted boys in Feb. IRS received it 2/15. After several refund date changes today (3/23) I called them. I am supposed to be getting a letter mailed to me on Monday. IRS wants more information of some sort. Even changed my filing status back to single from head of household. Seems they are questioning my adoption. I will see what the letter requests when it gets here.

March 14, 2011 at 10:41 am
(174) Frank says:

I am a disabled vet. (100%) so I do not have any taxable income. My wife and I adopted our great nephew in 2005. Our carry forward amount for 2009 is 12150.00. will we get the adoption credit. Also we are in the process of adopting two more. Their adaptation was started Oct. last year. does this mean we will receive over 38000.00 this year. sounds to good to be true. Thanks Frank

March 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm
(175) Ronnie says:

Elizabeth, We are also waiting to hear about our refund. We mailed our in the 25th of Jan along with all the papers needed. We have been told it is in review. The IRS send a letter on Feb 28th stating ”We have received your income tax return and are holding your refund until we complete a more thorough review. This review is part of an on going program the IRS conducts to ensure the accuracy of the return information. We will hold your refund until we finish our review. Your are not required to send anything at this time. If you do not received your refund or been contacted by us within 45 days from this notice, you may call us at the number provided.” We were also told by an IRS agent, that if we do not received our refund by the 15th of April, the IRS has to start paying interest. Looks like it’s just a wait and see game now.

March 16, 2011 at 12:27 am
(176) Kena says:

Ok so I sent my taxes in and to my surprise I got a refund. NOT the refund that I was supposed to get with the adoption tax credit. I got back what I would have gotten withouth the adoption refund. I have not received any letters from the IRS yet saying why. I read somewhere that they might be sending them in two checks and that is what I’m hoping for. If anyone else has had this happen please let us know.

March 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm
(177) Ronnie says:

Kena, We also have recieved our refund w/o the adoption credit. Our adoption credit is in review, as I said before. After two letters and still no refund, we found out today when the IRS sents out taxes to be review they don’t sent all the paper we sent in. So this just takes longer to get our refund. Maybe up to six – eigth more weeks. So if you get the first letter, another should follow in a couple of weeks with a fax number to sent your papers again. By all means, fax em papers! It can take another 6-8 weeks to get a refund, but who knows? The IRS agent we talked to today said it may not be much longer because they didn’t have that many yet. We just happen to be one of the luck ones to get a review. { some people have already gotten their back as of 3.4.10, mailed it in the 1st of Feb. Ours was mailed in on the 25th of Jan. six weeks ago. } Can’t explain why, just good ole Uncle Sam’s finest doing their jobs….

March 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm
(178) Kena Clark says:

Ronnie and Elizabeth, I’ve yet to receive a paper letter stating that they are reviewing my claim so I’m still waiting for that letter. Whatever they want I will give it to them gladly!! Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone!

March 18, 2011 at 10:21 am
(179) Kim says:

I just received my refund WITHOUT the adoption credit amount…….when I went to where’s my refund, I had a different message from last week……..this one says that my return is being reviewed and that I would be seeing correspondence from them………talk about getting your hopes up and then being disappointed…….I’m still hopeful though…….by the way everything reads, we are all due these funds……..will update as I receive things.

March 19, 2011 at 1:34 am
(180) Elizabeth says:

Update: Received a direct deposit today of less than what we expected for our refund w/o the adoption credit. We had no indication that the funds were being deposited as our message still indicates “…in review”. Not too sure what is going on that our expected refund amount wasn’t deposited in full. I am wondering if the fact we claim 8 dependents(2 more since last year) raised a red flag this year? Who knows. Will keep updating as we move along. Good luck to everyone mucking through this situation:-)

March 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm
(181) raylene says:

I recieved partial DD 3/11 also and am patiently waiting for letter from irs updated on wmr for about a week and a half for the additional informaition lettter…………

March 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm
(182) Josie says:

Our Where’s My Refund message reads this: “We have received your tax return and it is being reviewed. You will receive a notice from us requesting additional information from you. When you receive the notice, please provide the requested information within 30 days. You may not receive all or a part of your refund until we receive and review the information we requested from you. If you need more information after you receive our notice, call the number on the notice.” And we got a small refund that did not include the credit.

March 20, 2011 at 9:50 am
(183) Robin says:

I sent mine in and it was received by them on Feb, 26th. I showed up on the “Wheres My Refund” link about a week ago. it says that it’s being processed and that if thee are no processing delays or i don’t owe any taxes that it should be deposited by April 19th. Did any of you get this statement and it was later chnged to read that it was in review and they needed more documentation? I have 3 adoption credits and the return is aover 38K. Does it sound to any of you like it was reviewed already and is just being processed like it says? I guess I worry too much, but like someone said ” I can’t see them just giving you that amount of momeyu without a lot or work on your side”

March 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm
(184) Elizabeth says:

We received two specific dates on the website of 4/1 and then by 4/12. And then we got the “in review” message. We have 3 as well @ about 39K.

March 21, 2011 at 2:09 am
(185) Ronnie says:

Update: March 20, Still no refund! 2 letter’s and a fax later, our taxes are still in review. {If you don’t have a fax machine or know someone who does, get ready to spent about $2.00 a page to fax your adoption papers.} We were told they {IRS}would just look at the paper and then would deposit our refund. How long does it take to look at some papers? Three to ten days, when we called the 1 800 number, of course, no one knew anything or where the fax was. Everytime we call, we get a different answer. C’mon with it already! We mailed our return Jan. 25th, maybe we should had waited…

March 21, 2011 at 11:46 am
(186) Kena says:

Ok so I got to Where is My Refund and it this is what mine says….We can’t find anything under your name you have to wait 4 weeks before it will show up. I don’t even have a letter from them stating that they are wanting more documents. Is there a number where you can actually call and talk with someone instead of a recording? Thanks

March 22, 2011 at 12:44 am
(187) ana says:

i have 4 adopted and i got my refund without the adoption credit because they still have me on review.my question is what do they mean with special needs child? becase as far as i know or what my tax prepared told me is that they dont necessaraly need to be sick or on medication. thrers this others rules to be classify with special needs. help

March 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm
(188) ronnie says:

A special needs child is one that can’t be returned to their birth parents for one reason or another.

March 22, 2011 at 8:43 am
(189) Robin says:

UPDATE>> I got on IRS Wheres My Refund and it now says that due to processing delays, the date for my refund has been changed from April 19th to April 26th. I haven’t gotted anythin saying that it’s in review though. there was something curious though..When I got on Wheres My Refund before, it showed my refund amount on the left of the page along with my other info such as filing status and last 4 orf my SS. Now it has my filing status and last 4, but not the amount of my return. Should I take this to mean that they are going to just give me the amount that I would get if I didn’t have the adoption credit and send the rest later? I think I’ll call some of the big adoption agencies Today and talk to them about this. They might have some insight.

March 22, 2011 at 11:47 am
(190) Robin says:

OK Everyone:
I just called Bethany Adoption services which is an ENORMOUS operation with offices all over. They do both domestic and foreign adoptions. They told me that in cases where a very large return is expected, the IRS usually sends 2 checks or deposits. They said that the 2 amounts are usually about 10 business days apart. They said that they give us the amount we would have gotten without the tax credit, then the amount of the tax credit.. They said the IRS was reviewing some of the returns to ” make sure we weren’t making up imiganary Kids” I haven’t gotten a message saying I’m being reviewed and they said this meant that I probably wouldn’t be. Hope this helps some of you

March 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm
(191) Kari says:

I talked with IRS this morning. I am receiving a letter in the mail on Monday requesting information. I mailed an original official adoption decree plus copies of both my boys adoption subsidy agreements from the state of Nebraska. They have some questions and have “temporarily” changed my filing status to single from head of household. They removed my boys as dependents. I knew they would be difficult about this. Luckily I just got their amended birth certificates in the mail this week. Georgia took forever to get them to me.

March 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(192) Robin says:

Now you have me scared Kari! thats exactly what i sent in on my 2 adopted kids who were my former Foster Children. I didn’t send in copies of their amended birth certificated b/C I didn’t think they were needed and they weren’t on the list of documents to send. I just sent in copies of their subsidy agreements and theis adoption decrees. Have you always been ” inreview” or have you ever been in status as “being Processes” like I am? So far, I have had the date set back from April 19th to the 26th.

March 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm
(193) Ronnie says:

update 2: Okay, here’s the latest on the refund. As of March 16, our fax was received. IRS is now saying it can take up to 45 days to be review. But since they don’t have that many to review, it could be a few days. What’s a few days to them, who knows. {Since we sent it in Jan. our was one of the first they received.} It is my understanding that if they haven’t sent our refund by the end of tax season they will pay 3% interest, I don’t see that happening.
Also, Kari when you moved from Georgia to Nebraska did the subsidy agreement change, do you get it from the original state of adoption or does Nebraska now send it? The reason I’m asking is b/c my family and I are moving to another state and our lawyer doesn’t really know the answer. Thanks…

March 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm
(194) raylene says:

ok for the record mine originally said would have refund by (april 5th? I think) The it went in review saying I would get a letter and have 30 days to send required information. I got 2 days later my refund that was not adoption related and it was DD. Today about 2 weeks after they said a letter was coming I got the letter. Now the fun part it says I was “selected” as ther are reviewing 4 different things and they will hold the reund until they finish. I am not required to send anything and
i should receive my refund or hear from them in 45 days if not to call.

March 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm
(195) Robin says:

I just spoke to a friend of mine who had 2 adoption credits and they didn’t give her any trouble @ all. She filed it and had one delay of only a day, butthye actually daposited it before that. Hers was over 20K and it took exactly a month from the time she filed it to get her refund. Maybe it all depends on where you file @. Wish there was someone who could she some light on it.

March 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm
(196) Shelly Roche says:

So if the adoption expenses I am carrying forward over four years is 27,480 remaining to be carried forward, I would get those all back? Or do I just get the 13,170 out of the balance i paid?

March 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm
(197) Ronnie says:

Robin: The IRS decided to put a few random lucky one’s to be review. where you filed your taxes has nothing to do with being reviewed unless they find something questionable. I think the IRS just got in over their heads, and now are being over loaded with people wanting their refunds. Our’s was turned two months ago of the 25th. looks like your friend just happen to be one of us who didn’t get the luck of being a ‘Random” few. If you haven’t received a letter asking for more information, depending on how long ago you sent it in maybe you will get your refund soon. Hope this helps you.

March 25, 2011 at 9:10 am
(198) Robin says:

Thanks Ronnie: They received mine a month ago as of Tomorrow. I have not received anything from them wanting any more info. So far, I have just had my expected deposit changed form “by April 19th” to “By April 26th” My friend who actually got all of her refund back with no problems had her date changed too, but only by one day and she actually got it about 3 weeks before the date they gave her. I hope they don’t decide to “review” me..cause I’m living on a shoestring! Thanks again!

March 25, 2011 at 10:10 am
(199) Ronnie says:

You’re welcome Robin. I hope it ease’s your mind a little. I think we are all living on edge. My family and I are planing on buying a house and using our refund as part of the down payment. Talk about needing money, we’ve already lost out on two nice houses that we could afford. But I ‘m sure if it’s meant to be, we will find another one. Just gotta be possible, marking down the days and looking forward. Maybe the next time the government will be more prepare to handle the next tax break.. by the way, thank you all for taking this kids in, I know my life has been blessed to have mine.

March 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(200) Ronnie says:

March 28 update: Last comment correction Thank you for taking ‘These’ kids…not this kids. Anyway, still no refund. Still no reason why, still no date as to when we will receive it. Fax was received March 16, 12 days ago, still no one know nothing, here why. Did you know everytime you call the IRS 1-800 number you get a different state, you may get someone from Ga or Cal. They say they can’t contact with their computers? I say this a b/s answer but it the one we got the last time we call Friday. Maybe they are just tired of us calling and this is their way of saying don’t call back..Guess we just sit and wait, wait and wait some more.

March 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm
(201) Robin says:

Hi Ronnie:
You have me scared now. Do you think we will ever get our money? Do you know of anyone who actually got the money? We were planning a trip to Michigan in May. Maybe we won’t be able to go. Like I said, the only person I know who got their money was that friend I was telling about. Hers was only about 20K and mine is almost 39K do you know of anyone who actually got the money? Just curious to know, what od they ask for when they ask for papers faxed? I was very careful to send copies of the 2 domestic adoption papers as well as the TANF agreements for the adoption subsidies. I even sent them the education agreements that I submit for them to get a free College Education. For my Haitian adopted daughter, I submitted the adoption papers in English as well as the ones in Creyole. Hope thats enough. Thanks again Ronnie

March 28, 2011 at 1:35 am
(202) Ronnie says:

I’m sure we’ll get our refund, sooner or later. I’m just tired of getting no where with the answers I’m getting. I think it’s stupid that the IRS can’t get it together and just us a straight answer as to when we will get our refund. I don’t know anyone who has gotten their, but from reading some of the another post on here, I see a few people have gotten their already. Like I said it just a waiting game. I had to fax the adoption degree b/c my taxes when in review, the IRS didn’t send the one I had already send before. I’m just sick of the wait sorry if I upset you.

March 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(203) Robin says:

Hi again Ronnie:
I read somewhere that they usually send out the checks and do the deposits on Fridays. Have you heard this too? Just wondering

March 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm
(204) Shannon says:

Hey everyone,

Our daughter’s adoption was completed in 2008.
I read this on the IRS website- ( http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html )”In 2010 and 2011, you may be able to take a refundable tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child (including a child with special needs). This means that you could qualify for a tax refund even if you did not have federal income tax withheld. For tax years prior to 2010, the adoption credit is not refundable.”___WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME IF OUR ADOPTION WAS COMPLETED IN 2008?????

We got our tax refund on this Friday, March 25th. However, there was no adoption tax refund included. Nothing. We were expecting over $10,000, because we had not gotten much back from the credit money, because of not owing much in taxes in previous years.

Are we not going to get that money? Should we call or send a letter or do we not qualify for some reason. I am so disappointed. ANY information to clarify what we should do would be greatly appreciated.


March 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm
(205) jesse says:

i mailed my taxes mar.5.checked where`s my refund mar.23rd. it said my deposit would be mar.25.it was.i live in nv. 2spec.kids adopted from dfs in jan.had them since nov.07.i am new with the computer and learned of the credit when i happened to click this site.sent in adoption papers and subsidy agreement.thank you for all your comments,that gave me hope and the lord for blessing us

March 28, 2011 at 8:57 am
(206) Robin says:

Hi Ronnie:
Don’t worry, you didn’t really upset me. I would rather know whats going on than sit and wait expecting it to come in and it just doesn’t. So far, I’m not in review, but that could change I know. I have noticed that the people who got theirs back didn’t have an enourmous refund like i do. Thieirs was only in the 10K or 20K range while mine is in the upper 30′s. Please keep me and everyone else informed about anything you may hear.

March 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(207) Elizabeth says:

We finally received our “in review letter” today. It states that we don’t have to send anything additional in and we should have a response within 45 days.
2/10/11- Tax return received by IRS
4/1/11- Expected Refund Date
4/12/11- Expected Refund Date Due to Processing Delays
3/11/11- Tax Return Now Under Review
3/18/11- Partial EIC Direct Deposited
3/28/11- “In Review” Letter Received
3 special needs, ATC expected to be in upper 30′s. Still hanging in there!!

March 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm
(208) Robin says:

Can anyone tell me why I am no longer showing up on the IRS Wheres My Return link. it says that they can not provide any info about my status. It’s like I never filed. Any input?

March 30, 2011 at 1:34 am
(209) Ronnie says:

We also received our 2nd “in review letter” today. Like we didn’t already know this. LOL. Still no date, just another 30 days of waiting. . this is the fourth letter we have received. (x2) We are expecting middle 20′s..
I found out the reason some of us are getting reviewed, b/c of the home credit refunds.
There were so many bogus claims, they are reviewing some the adoptions claims. That is why they ask for copies of the adoption papers. Also, remember they have to pay us interest if we don’t receive our refunds by 4/15/11, personally I don’t see it happening.
Robin: Have you called to ask if you were in the system? I would call and ask some questions why I’m not seeing anything anymore.

March 30, 2011 at 10:33 am
(210) Robin says:

Update: As of Today, I am ” IN Review” Apparently, when you disappear off the system like that, it means they are about to change your status. S friend of mine with 4 adoption credits filed a couple of days behind me and she called me last night saying that she was in review. She called IRS and they said that even though she was classified as in review, she was actually just pending while they decided to review or not. I called them this morning and was told pretty much the same thing about my case. They said that a partial payment of the amount I would have gotten without the adoption credit would be deposited on Friday. They said that they were deciding in my case whether or not to actuely review it. What kinds of papers did they ask you to fax Ronnie? I need to be prepared. Also they said that I would receive a notice in about a month, but don’t wait that long and call in about 2 weeks to check the status.

March 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm
(211) Ronnie says:

You will need to send a copy of your adoption agreement, the one you have already sent. And the subsidy agreement, to show your kids are special need. After you fax them over, call in a couple of day to make sure they have your papers. Hopefully you know someone who has a fax, otherwise it will coat $2.00 a sheet, which adds up fast. After you fax, in about three weeks you may or maynot get yet a another letter telling you your taxes are in review once again, another 30 days waiting game. After that who knows. I’m at that stage now.

March 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm
(212) cindy says:

We adopted 5 special needs (foster children) in 2004. In 05 and 06 we had our taxes done, they used the form 8839, but never claimed any of the credits. So we’ve never received a credit for the adoption. Do we still qualify to get this back this year?

March 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm
(213) gratefulinkansas says:

I am thankful to God for this blessing. I got laidoff last year and was actually dreading to do my taxes because I get unemployment and thought I would owe. I got this amazing wonderful treat. I just filed and I am hoping to get mine soon. God is so good we really needed this help.

God help us all

March 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm
(214) cindy says:

Reading all of these posts is making me very nervous. My cousin who adopted 3 of her kids in 04 the same year we adopted our 5, has filed and is expecting $20plus thousand. She called 2nite and said they’ve sent her a letter wanting an adoption decree, and more info and that she can’t claim part of it. Our adoption was done july 04, so we filed 05 for the 1st time, but H & R block didn’t apply any credit, charged us for forms, but no credit. This happend 05, and 06. Am I falsely hoping that we are going to get some of this back. We took our taxed to another H & R block office with a lady that specializes in adoption credits. She has done them, ammended 07, 08, and 09 and we’re getting in the $59 thousands. Is this too good to be true? Since we’ve never had any of these credits, are we still going to get them this year? Can anyone tell me this.
thanks so much

March 31, 2011 at 3:28 am
(215) William Perez says:

You need to be especially diligent with amending returns for tax credits over three years old. I’m curious to find out how the IRS is handling these older amended returns since technically the IRS can disallow a tax credit if it’s not claimed within three years of the original deadline. Good documentation and a diligent preparation of the amended return go a long way in ensuring that any issues are anticipated and responded to quickly.

March 31, 2011 at 9:48 am
(216) cindy says:

William, does this mean that the IRS can choose not to give us this credit since it wasn’t claimed in a 3 year period? I’ve compiled the things that I’ve read on here that other people have had to send in, adoption decree etc. I’m hoping that this will make it go smoothly. Lord knows we could really use this money.

March 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm
(217) Ronnie says:

As long as you have the adoption papers, and your subsily agreement which is for special need kids, you should be able to claim all your unused credits.

March 31, 2011 at 8:16 am
(218) Kim says:

Update: I received (dated March 25) a letter telling me that I again needed to send my adoption decree and adoption subsidy, and (dated March 28) a letter telling me that I needed to send nothing and if I haven’t received a refund or been contacted by them in 45 days, I should call them. We are all in the same boat folks……..and it’s difficult; however, we can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Some of these refunds are HUGE……..mine, not nearly as much as some, but imagine the influx of work these people have. Yikes! Hang in there! I’ll update as things unfold :0)

March 31, 2011 at 9:46 am
(219) cindy says:

William, does that mean that my credit from 04 can be denied since we didn’t use it? For 2 years, 05 and 06 we filed and sent in the form 8839, but no credit was given. The lady doing my taxes this year has ammended 07,08, and 09, and I’ve compiled together some of the things people have listed on here like: adoption decree etc.

March 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm
(220) William Perez says:

Ah, that makes sense to me, Cindy. As long as you’ve been filing the Form 8839, then I think your carryover credits are protected. 2007, ’08, and ’09 are all “open years” for amending the return and fixing any tax credit and carryover issues. So I think you should be fine. Good luck and let us know how it goes. All the best, William

August 29, 2011 at 10:03 am
(221) cindy says:

Hi William, finally heard from the IRS, several different letters. the letter for 2008 says we have a carry over amount of a little over $49,000.00 after they adjusted it. Then the next letter that came the same day says for 2009 there is no carryover amount left. Called the IRS, according to the woman I spoke with, she says the time limit ran out, and we can’t go back and ammend it. We paid to have our taxes done every year, even paid extra for the adoption credit form each year, H & R Block just didn’t do the credits. I hope everyone else has better luck than us. That money sure could have been used raising 6 kids. Thanks

March 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm
(222) ASHLEY says:

Question, that I see has been asked before, but not answered. If anyone that has already filed knows answer, please advise me~! We finalized in 2009, but have had costs SINCE 2007, that we never claimed, never knew we could claim. In 2010 (for 2009 taxs) we claimed our attorney fees ONLY for 2009, which we less then 7k. OUr daugther was born drug addicted, and we signed a “future needs agreement”, does this classify as special needs? SHe was our foster child for 2 years, and was classified as “failure to thrive”. Im so confused by this! And our local DFPS office is NO help, IRS just sais to fill forms out and see. Ive already filed my taxs this year, so now I have to file an amendment.

March 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm
(223) Ronnie says:

Your baby should classifield as a special needs child. I’m a little confused myself, since the baby was in born with a drug addiction and in foster care before her adoption did the Dept.of Human Service not pay for your attorney?
And are you get a subsidy check for her? If not you need to check into this and find out why. The reason I asking is b/c my youngest daughter was also born with addiction and is classifield as special needs as well.

March 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm
(224) kknucks says:

I haven’t seen anyone say they have actually received the refund yet. Has anyone actually received the adoption tax credit refund yet?

March 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm
(225) Robin says:

@ Knucks
Hi; An answer to your question. Yea, a friend of mine got it without any trouble @ all. She lives in Illinois and she filed earlier than most and it took exactly a month. Don’t know how much she got back. I think they are questioning the large refunds more and not the smaller ones.

March 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm
(226) Robin says:

Update: Got my partial refund Today and it was the amount without the tax credit. @ least it’s something.

March 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm
(227) Elizabeth says:

Update: We received a letter from the IRS today that our child tax credit was being adjusted slightly. But the good news is that the newly adjusted refund amount included the ATC. It said to expect the refund in 4-6 weeks. Atleast we have documentation that they are recognizing the credit. ….A step closer!

March 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm
(228) Ronnie says:

Great! 4-6 is the end of April. So are they paying interest or just what you claimed? Just saying if we own IRS money, we have to pay it, so does that go both ways? I guess I’m knit picking but at this point anything is better than nothing.

March 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm
(229) Elizabeth says:

Ronnie- It didn’t say anything about interest. My hunch is that they’ll push through as many as they can before having to dish out 3%. I hope so!

March 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm
(230) William Perez says:

Wow, great news!

April 1, 2011 at 11:20 am
(231) Robin says:

Can anyone explain..@ the bottom of the notice stating that i’m in appeal, there is a link to click on about appeals. It states “please read the following regarding your situation: Should I be worried? Does this mean that I am going to have to appeal this? Did everyone else get the same thing on theirs? It’s a link to click on and it explains the appeal precess.

April 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm
(232) Doreen says:

I have a special needs child that we adopted in 2006, but we never took the credit. I didn’t think we were entitled to it. Are we able to add it to our 2010 return or amend the 2006 return?

April 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm
(233) Gina says:

Yes Doreen, you can amend your taxes 2006-2010. We also adopted a special needs child in 2006 and had ours amended. We have recieved a partial payment so far.

April 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(234) Sue says:

Partial payment but not including the ATC? We ammended after filing our 2010 taxes to keep them separate. We mailed our ammends to include 2006-2010 on March 7th….have heard nothing yet. Still unsure of getting any of this money until it’s in our hand. After reading the online article about the Ward family and their huge 50 thousand plus refund, it created a stir. So many people are against the adoptive parents getting any of this. Who knows what will happen. I’m sure there are people out there complaining to higher up about this not being right. I’ve read that it was our choice to adopt and we should not get free money from the gov. and their tax dollars???? So before long this should all blow up in the media…lol. Lets still be hopeful.

April 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm
(235) Sue says:

Can you check the status of ammended returns online? On wheres my refund? I cannot get any info there for ours. Thinking its because of ammended return.

April 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm
(236) Kim says:

Hey Robin…….I got the same link on mine as well and then when I got the letter telling me what to send again, there was also a thin booklet explaining the appeals process…….I think it’s just automatic that they send the pamphlet and include the link as being “in review” can lead to an appeals process…….not just with adoption credit issues. Also, I called the number that was on my letter and spoke with a VERY polite and informative clerk at the IRS (mind was out of Fresno, CA) who ADVISED me to MAIL the items rather than fax them being that the letter was calling for a true copy attest UNDER SEAL (which needs to be physically seen to be seen at all). She said that when you mail your original return and it is selected for review, the materials that you send in with your original return ARE NOT send to the reviewers, hence, us having to send them again……just a heads up. Mine is also going out Priority Mail so that I have receipt of it being received…….hang in there all…….:0)

April 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm
(237) Robin says:

Thanks Kim:
I was wondering about the link @ the bottom of the message, so thanks for clearing it up. It’s good to know that I can mail the stuff instead of faxing it cause that can be rather expensive. You stated that they have to see the actual seal. If it’s a copy, that wouldn’t be the actual seal would it? Did the IRS Agent give you any advise about how long it woyuld take to get the money? The Agent that i spoke to was very nice also. BTW, the agent that I spoke to advised me to wait just 2 weeks after the review notice to call and find out the status of my return. Maybe we should call every 2 weeks about it.
Thanks again

April 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm
(238) lyn says:

I adopted 2 special need girls in 2006. I did’n make enough income that year to use the adoption credit. Since that time my declining health has me on ssa disability. I have no taxable income, can I still receive the adoption credit.

April 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm
(239) Beth A. says:

We’re adopting in 2011. Our AGI will be too high in 2011 to receive the credit due to an extenuating circumstances, but will be lower in subsequent years. Can we carryover the 2011 cost to future years? what about the fact that this provision is sunsetting, or the credit will be less in future years — does that affect the carryover option? Thank you

April 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm
(240) Tamara says:

We are in the latter part of our review. After it went into review we were once again required to fax the decree and the subsidy agreement. Evidently they do not forward documents when it goes to review. I filed Feb. 1 st and they are telling me it may take until may 28th to get the adoption credit portion of our refund. I was quite confused when the letter asks for the decree and the subsidy paper, but then says don’t send documents twice. So I called and that is when they told me the above comment. Also never send your originals. And if you get the letter asking for them and you do fax them they told me that the primary social security number had to be on each page. Anyway hope this helps.

April 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm
(241) Ronnie says:

The only one I had to put my ss was the first page, but I guess it depends on who you talk to at the IRS. Called to check the latest on my refund today, it is now in the hands of the examiner. God only knows how long this is going to take but I guess it’s one step closer. I was told they are now working on the homebuyer’s and adoption credit refunds. Could be 2 days, 90 days, whenever they decide to send it. Anyway, if you’re heard or read anything about a code 1301, which is suppose to mean the IRS is out of money, don’t panic. There’s no such thing. It’s something somebody made up to stir up a panic. I know this because I ask the IRS agent I spoke with today and she told me this is just a rumor. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s true….it’s not.

April 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm
(242) Robin says:

@ Tamara:Are you kidding? It might take till may 28th for you?!! I filed mine on the 24th of Feb, so I’m almost a month behind you. I REALLY wanted to go to Michigan in the last part of May to see my Grandfather and other relatives because they have not met all of my adopted kids…maybe I won’t be able to go. Whats this I’m hearing about a Government shutdown? Will that affect our situation @ all? Can anyone tell me why some people ae getting the refund with no problem, but most are having to go through all this? I’ve been in review for a week now. What stage of all this do you think I’m in? Also, someone told me that I can mail in the documents rather than fax them. Do any of you know about this? It would save money for sure.

April 6, 2011 at 10:27 am
(243) Lynn says:

My status changed once again …originally it was for March, then April, then May 3rd. Just this morning it changed to under review and I will be receiving a letter. I have not received a partial refund like some. When I called the IRS last week I was told there was a glitch in their software and that I could receive it by last Friday or within three weeks…well, this is not happening now. I am at wits end…

April 6, 2011 at 11:11 am
(244) Ronnie says:

Robin, we’ve been in review for a month or longer now. They are so far behind it’s crazy. Seem’s like everyone’s plans are being put on hold. You may as well go ahead and mail documents, faxing them isn’t going to speed up your return. We faxed our’s in @ 2 bucks a sheets (about $40).. six weeks ago but it didn’t matter, they are just now getting to the examiner’s desk…This is becoming overwheming to my wife as well. As far as the government shuting down who knows. And yes, it would affect our situation, how could it not. Sombody need to get their head out of ass and do their job.

April 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm
(245) Robin says:

Thanks Ronnie:
@ least I know I’m not the only one going through all of this. I will mail in the documents if I can’t find a friend with a fax machine. I saw on the news tonight that a government shutdown really will slow things down for us and everyone else who paper filed. I hope I can continue to coast along on fumes till it gets here.

April 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm
(246) Yvette says:

I have been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now and just wanted to give an account of our experience up to this point. We mailed our returns on 3/17. I checked our status on 4/2 and it said we should have our return by 5/3. Checked again today and it said we should expect our return to be direct deposited on 4/8. After reading all the comments on here I now wonder if it will be a partial refund or if my status will change again before Friday. We are not expecting as big a refund as some others on here. We are expecting a little over $18,000.

April 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm
(247) Robin says:

Hi Yvette:
I have known a few people like you who had no trouble getting their refund. It seems to be people getting in the 20K and under range. I wonder if anyone who like me getting over 30K has theirs yet. I’m happy for you though!

April 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm
(248) Weyesone7 says:

Just to clear up what I thought I read on the IRS website: My minority, hard to place sibling group of four that visited long distance from august 09 until march 10 who were finally placed in our home march 2010 and are definitely special needs, CAN be filed as a 2010 adoption credit even though we will NOT finalize until October 2011? We have ALL of the necessary paperwork as listed on the website and due to the stagnant approach of the caseworkers, court dates from Nov 2010 will not proceed until AUG 2011! With all of our necessary paperwork, can we claim the 2010 adoption tax credit even though we will finalize LATE 2011? I think it was listed under domestic adoptions that were not finalized. Let me know what you think! My husband and I are educators who would love to live in the black again. Degrees = student loans and at this rate, we will finish our loans when our children start college ;)

April 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm
(249) angie says:

Do we HAVE to use the credit this year? If we want to wait a year or two, can we use it then? Or is it a “use it now or lose it” thing? The adoptions were in 2008 and 2009. Thanks.

April 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm
(250) Ronnie says:

The way things are going, there may not another chance to get these credits. Even if you don’t need the money now, you may not be able get it later. Who knows what is going to happen if the Government shuts down, and the way it’s looking there is a good chance they will. They are making a lot of tax cut’s and the poor and middle class people are going to feel the bite before anybody else does.
Put in a saving account for a rainy day, take a family trip whatever….give to your kids don’t let the IRS keep what’s your’s and your family’s…

April 8, 2011 at 8:12 am
(251) Pam Harris says:

I adodpted my grandson thru foster care in 2009. Is there a tax benefit for that? The state incurred the adoption fee for the court and the lawyer. I did not pay any out of pocket fee for the adoption itself.

April 8, 2011 at 10:23 am
(252) Cheryl says:

Pam, Yes, you should have tax credits as long as you meet the income limit.( I’m not sure how much it is, but it’s easy to look up on line.) And if he is a special needs child. (Which is a child that can’t be replace with his birthparents etc.) You will need a copy of the adoption degree along with his subsidy agreement. You can look this up on the IRS wed-site to be sure of all the limits and such just to make sure. My kids were also adopted threw Foster care and I’ve been able to claim the credit for the past few yrs. with no problems. just be aware that you have to do a paper return in order to claim the credit. It wil take forever to get your refund but it’s worth the wait, you should be able to claim for 2010 which would be around 13k if you don’t owe any thing back. Hope this help somewhat…

April 8, 2011 at 10:34 am
(253) Ronnie says:

Just another update, 4/7/11
Another call to IRS and still no answer to when I get the refund. I been threw the review, the papers are now at the examiner. Have been for at lease a week or so..but with the Government talking Shut Down, they don’t know when I will get the refund. Makes no senses what so ever why they are taking sooooo long. Going on three month as of the 25th of April. Kinda looks like they are picking on us for taking the kids out of the system ? Who knows..

April 8, 2011 at 10:52 am
(254) Robin says:

I know how you feel. Really I do! Don’t worry abou the shutdown. That will only slow it down somewhat. Government will HAVE! to open up eventually. Can you explain to me why some people are having almost no trouble getting theirs back and we are having a horrible time? A friend of mine filed @ the exact time that I did and now we are both in review. She got her review letter a couple of days ago and I didn’t get mine. Do you have any idea why that might be? If you have been in process this long, then I kNOW! I can’t go to Michigan @ the end of May. Just hope it’s there by August cause thats the ltest I can go.

April 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm
(255) Ronnie says:

Well Robin,
I wish I had an answer for you, but I really don’t know. The only thing I was told was we were picked by random. Like I believe that. It’s like you get one step closer just to get your hopes up to be kicked back down three steps back. It’s B/S!! I really sick of being nice but I getting mad now. I’m sick of the IRS agents playing dumb and getting stupid answers…sorry you won’t get to visit your family. Believe me I know how you feel..

April 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(256) Kim says:

Robin…..so sorry…..I was away all week…….as for mailing the documents, the agent I spoke with just seemed to feel that they were asking for what they call a “true copy attest” which is stamped right on the document and it does have the seal on it……..these can be obtained at your family court administration offices (clerks office) where your adoptions took place……..I received 4 or 5 copies like this when I adopted my son and everybody seems to want one…….one to change the social, one to change the birth certificate, and now 2 to the IRS…….I’m out now. I know you all are exasperated with this…….and it’s understandable…….we were all told to expect it and now it will be later than we had hoped. Just hang in there…….we are all in the same boat and this is a great place to come for venting and seeking any news from anyone who has updates. I will be VERY happy for you all once things start to come through……..your hearts are all in such a good place.

April 9, 2011 at 10:53 am
(257) Robin says:

Thanks Kim:
when you refer to a “true copy attest” Do you mean the order of adoption. I have a copy of the finalization of adoption signed by the judge. is that what they need.? I sent it with my return, but I know we have to re-send it. they don’t want the original do they? I heard we are supposed to send copies. Glad to hear you are out and just waiting for the refund.

April 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm
(258) Karen says:

Does anyone know if you can get a refund from 2005 if you didn’t know you were eligible, but you have taxable income. From what I am reading, you are out of luck unless you had to income. Can you appeal the decision?

April 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm
(259) William Perez says:

Karen, the IRS briefly discusses amending tax returns for previous years to add in the adoption credit in their Instructions for Form 8839 (page 3 and 4). What the IRS doesn’t mention is that taxpayers have three years (from the original filing deadline of April 15th) to revise their taxes and claim any tax credits. Year 2005 taxes would have closed, under this 3-year rule, on April 15, 2009. Thus the IRS will likely deny an attempt to revise your 2005 tax return to add in the adoption credit. Although I have not seen this happen with adoption credits, I have seen this happen with other tax credits.

April 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm
(260) Karen says:

Are you suggesting that I should amend my returns and see what happens or just let it go?

April 11, 2011 at 7:29 am
(261) Kim says:

Hi Robin…..and all……according to the clerk I spoke with, they don’t want the original (my original is framed and has a gold seal on it…..very special!)…….they are looking for copies that have the seal and it’s just raised from the paper a little……you can feel it, but it’s harder to read it. Again, I don’t know if this clerk is more right than any other, but she spent enough time going over the way the paper was worded with me and we came to the conclusion together that the best way to go was to mail it (I did it priority mail…….they should get it today and I have a tracking number) and send them a copy of the adoption decree with the seal along with my subsidy agreement. She also advised me to put it to the attention of the examination unit so that it got directed right to them. The return envelope they gave me was 1)not big enough for all of the copies and 2)vaguely addressed………I copied the address from the envelope and added “Attn: Examination Unit”. I hope that we all start to see some action soon……best of luck to you all…….I’ll be back when I have more to share. :0)

April 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm
(262) Robin says:

Thanks Kim:
Your info clears up a lot. Also thanks Michele for the link and info. I got my review letter Today. I have 2 special needs domestic adoptions from Foster Care and one international adoption from Haiti. They are asking for invoices or receipts from the Adoption agency which I saved and thats no problem, but they also want cancelled checks which is a big problem. I didn’t have cancelled checks. when i sent money, I would send a bank check and I went to the bank for copies but it’s a problem. they want to know the exact date the check was drawn to get the copies. I’ll have to do some digging into my account to get the exact dates. Waht a pain!

April 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm
(263) Robin says:

When I called IRS Today about my case., I was told that once they receive the info, it could be as long as 60 days till it’s assigned to an examiner and could be equally as long after that to get the refund. She also said that they DID! have to pay us interest after April 15th.

April 12, 2011 at 9:11 am
(264) Josie says:

I mailed my tax return on Feb 16 and just got my letter from the examiner requesting the same info I mailed with the return yesterday. Almost two months later. Two special needs 2008 adoptions.

April 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(265) Jessica says:

I might be confused but don’t you have to have actually paid out for an adoption to claim the credit? And can’t you only claim what you actually paid?

April 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm
(266) Robin says:

@ Jessica
No, you don’t have to actually piy out the amount to get the tax credit if it is for a special needs adoption. I have 2 special needs adoptions that I’m getting the credit ofr. they were my foster children adn I adopted them. For an international adoption, it’s different and you have to actually have paid out the expense adding up to the amount of the tax credit. Any special needs adoption qualifies for the credit even iof the state paid all the expenses for the adoption.

April 13, 2011 at 12:01 am
(267) Margot says:

I’m in the same boat, but my children were adopted privately and I have nothing saying they are special needs. As far as I was told the credit is for any adopted children and I have been receiving the credit since 2005. I got the generic letter today that they are reviewing my return and I don’t need to send anything. I have gotten a partial refund (the amount I was due without the credit) but not the whole thing. My entire refund was less than 12,000 so it is not a huge amount but it is still on hold. I have had a second opinion from a tax preparer who confirmed that everything is correct and that my carry forward is all in good shape so I was advised to just wait and see.

April 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm
(268) Ronnie says:

4/13/ Still no refund, still no date as of when it will be dd. Examiner has had it for two weeks now, but still nothing. They are now working on Jan. and some are working on Feb. They have another five days before the 18th, end of tax season and the interest kicks in…(also was told it could be as long as another 4 to 8 weeks or maybe sooner, so who knows)

April 14, 2011 at 9:21 am
(269) Robin says:

Hi Ronnie:
I called IRS Yesterday b/c I got a letter stating that they needed all kinds of info about mainly my Haiti adoption. Anyway, I got another letter the next day stating that they didn’t need anything, so I called. They told me that the letters had “been transposed” and I should have gotten the letter stating that nothing was needed before the other one and it was their mistake. Anyway, they told em that once I get the info submitted, it would be @ least 30 days before it was assigned to an examiner. Actually, they said 30 to 90 days. They said that once the examiner got it, it could be another 60 days to get it. I had to get actual copies of checks that I paid for the adoption with. had to call the bank and have them research it cause I paid with cashiers checks. I also have to submit all of my invoices from the International adoption Agency, which luckily, I saved. Something deep in my brain tells mw August for mine. You probably will get yours soon. I hope you will. Sure am glad I found this blog so I know I’m not the only one going through this. Keep us informed about everything you find out about your case and the situation in general.

April 14, 2011 at 12:56 am
(270) Shari says:

A tax preparer told me yesterday that I would be getting a tax refund of over $20,000…most of which was for adoption tax refund. Today she told me I wouldn’t be getting any of the adoption tax refund….a huge difference. Here’s my situation: I adopted my first son (special needs) in 2004. I used up about half of the tax credit in the next few years. I did not work, and therefore did not file taxes in 2007-2009. My understanding is that because it can only be carried forward 5 years, I am not eligible for his adoption tax refund. I understand that. However, my second son (also special needs) was adopted in 2006. I did not file an 8839 that year b/c I could not use the tax credit. I did not file taxes 2007-2009. Now, I was told I cannot claim the adoption tax refund for him b/c there was no 8839 for 2006, and no carry forward until now, and it is too late to amend my 2006 taxes. I understand not being able to get it for the 2004 adoption, but what about the 2006 one?

April 14, 2011 at 1:08 am
(271) William Perez says:

Shari, unfortunately, that’s the correct answer. We have only three years to claim any tax credits under the statute of limitation rules for federal taxes. You would need to have filed for the adoption credit and calculate any carryover no later than April 15, 2010 (three years from the original deadline for ’06). The year 2006 is now closed for adding in credits and carryovers. Sorry =/

April 18, 2011 at 10:58 am
(272) wendy says:


April 14, 2011 at 10:38 am
(273) Staci says:

We adopted in 2010 and was finalized same year. He is not special needs. The adoption was private and we are still making payments to the attorney. What can we claim for last years taxes and can we then claim what we are paying this year on this years taxes? Or is it a one time credit and we are only allowed what we paid in 2010?


April 14, 2011 at 11:50 am
(274) Elizabeth says:

Well, we came home from spring break to our third “review” letter. This one is requesting the adoption decrees and subsidy agreements again. I mailed copies of the originals this morning via Priority mail w/ delivery confirmation. Sent to an address in Holtsville, NY. Now just waiting for them to request blood testing, birthparent statements or depositions from the judges! LOL. Hey, we need keep a sense of humor (or else we’d cry, lol). Will update at next contact- hang in there all!

April 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm
(275) Don says:

Okay I am confused. Based on what I am reading here I do not have any adoption credit coming as my adoption was in 2004 and I used the credit carry forward for 2005 to 2009. But my tax preparer who wont be in till Saturday to complete my taxes says good news because I had a carry forward from 2005 I will get the balance of the credit refunded. Does anyone know if she is right. I called the IRS and there questions didn’t make sense about the credit forward being more than 5 years old from 2010 and they would net elaborate.

April 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm
(276) William Perez says:

The adoption credit can generate carryover credits if the original amount of the credit isn’t used up on your tax return. However, the adoption credit only carries over for 5 years, after that any unused carryover credit amount expires.

For an adoption credit that was originally generated in 2004, the ’04 credit would reduce your ’04 federal tax (at most to zero tax), with the remainder carried over to 2005. Then in year 2005 (the 1st carryover year), the carryover credit reduces your ’05 federal tax (at most to zero tax), with the remainder carried over to 2006. Same for all the rest. 2006 is the 2nd carryover year; 2007 is the 3rd year; 2008 is the 4th year; and 2009 is the 5th and last year for using the credit generated from 2004. If you had any remainder credits at the end of 2009, those credits expired and the carryover amount is reduced to zero. Thus there’s no remaining credits that carryover to 2010.

You will notice in their instructional materials the IRS refers to carryover credits from 2005 and forward, basically this is the period of time where adoption credits can potentially be refunded out on the 2010 tax return.

Now if you had any additional adoption credits (that is, commencing in 2005 or 2006 or later) then those additional adoption credits could potentially get refunded in 2010.

April 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(277) Rob says:

I have to admit I did not read through all of the posts, so this one might have been answered already.

Our adoption was finalized in 2005. We were able to use $259 in 2005 and never again after that.

Since we never qualified to use the credit (and didn’t anticipate ever being able to) we never submitted any Adoption Credit forms for 2006 – 2010 (yes, I already filed for 2010).

Can I still amend my 2010 taxes and qualify to receive the Adoption Tax Credit. If so, would it be the $13,170 less the $259?


April 18, 2011 at 10:55 am
(278) wendy says:

I amended 2006-2010, I just spoke with IRS was told my file is was closed April 7, refund within 3 weeks of that date should be any time now no problems, no letters, so you should have no problem.

April 15, 2011 at 11:21 pm
(279) Ronnie says:

Hey all,
Thought maybe I would get my refund today, no such luck!
Another call to IRS, and still nowhere. It’s been 30 days since my last letter, and still no dd date. ‘Wait another two weeks and call back if you haven’t gotten your refund” Wait, wait and wait some more…Did find out they are working on late Feb. returns. Which makes no senses what so ever,b/c I sent my in Jan. Confused yet? They are going by the date they receive the fax, okay..faxed mine March 16th.. how can they be just now doing late Feb? When most people didn’t get they taxes done until Feb?B/c they are working on the fth buyers before the adoption credit? Who knows, you can’t get a simple answer they tell you anything just to keep you from calling back. Now get this, my wife’s father had a stoke last week (he’s 83) and lives in another state 1500 miles away. We can’t afford to go there, being the middle of the month, moneys tight. I ask for hardship and was told it isn’t consider as” hardship ” just b/c a family member is ill..are you kidding me! We’re talking about my wife’s Father…talk about cold blooded. It’s not like we are wanting to take a trip to Paris…and yes I do understand people lie to get what they want. All they had to do is call my father-in-laws doctor or have him fax over a detailed letter. gees…this is getting crazy…..

April 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm
(280) Robin says:

So sorry about your situation Ronnie. I still don’t understand why some people are getting it with no problem and we are still struggling through it. I know it must be hard for you with your Father-In-Law being sick and everything. One of my adoptions was an international adoption and the IRS wants all kinds of documentation from me to verify money that I spent. Luckily, I saved all the invoices and receipts from the Adoption agancy, but IRS wants cancelled chacks and i didn’y have those cause I paid with cashiers checks. I had to have the bank research and find those checks and make copies for me. I will be putting everything together probably on Monday. You mentioned that they are doing it by the date that they receive the fax. I plan to mail mine. Do you think it will make much of a difference as far as time goes? Will your Father-In-Law be OK? Don’t balme you. I would be mad too!

April 17, 2011 at 10:27 am
(281) Ronnie says:

Hi Robin,
Thank for you for asking about my Father in law, so far he seems to be hanging in there, as well as a 83 yrs. person can. With his age and health issues’, it could turn any time. As far as faxing or mailing, I would do what ever you feel most comfortable with. At this point, I think I would just mail it. No need in getting in a rush, they are taking their time anyway. I have seen a few post on another website when a few people have received they refunds already so maybe they are moving faster now that people are starting to get on their case about taking so long. I am just overwhelmed as are many by this whole review thing. You know, it’s not like we haven’t claimed our kids before. I’m had them since birth, the oldest is nine and the baby is six. So it shouldn’t be a surprise, I didn’t just decide to start claiming two kids. And talk about RUDE..the last guy I spoke too was very short with me and cut me off in middle sentence. Guess they are sick of hearing from me, too bad. I will content to call until I do finally get our refund. Sorry to be so long winded..just at that point where I’m so frustrated.

April 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm
(282) Robin says:

Thanks Ronnie:
I am going to just mail everything probably on Monday or Tuesday. When i got he copies of the checks from my bank, some of then were practically illegible. I hope they don’t give me a hard time about that. What other site so you get on about the tax credit? I want to keep tabs on the situation as well as I can and having another site to get on would help. Can you send me a link? I’ll pray for your Father-In-Law. Hope he recovers.

April 18, 2011 at 11:40 am
(283) Mrs. Spann says:

Adoptions finalized in 2011 through an agency – are they eligible for the adoption tax credit?

April 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm
(284) Ronnie says:

YAHOO-!! We got some good news today..finally. We are out of review and will get our full refund within the next two weeks..
Guess there is light at the end of the tunnel Happy Dance!!!!! Thank you Jesus !!

April 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm
(285) Robin says:

So happy for you Ronnie! Now you can buy your house! I sent in everything Yesterday that the IRS asked for. I see that you filed on January 25th. Thats a month before me. if you are getting yours in 2 weeks, then I’m probably a month behind you. Maybe I’ll get to go on vacation after all. Anyway.. Congrats to you!

April 20, 2011 at 10:53 am
(286) ronnie says:

Thank you Robin…I will keep in touch. Good luck with your refund.

April 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm
(287) ana says:

i send all my papers when i first file but my last letter from irs ask for all the same documents again so i send faxed everything again. did that same happened to you?

April 20, 2011 at 9:20 am
(288) Robin says:

Hi Ana:
Yea, the same thing happened to me. I have 2 adopted from Foster care, so they are Special needs and I have one adopted from haiti. They were all adopted within 3 months of each other. I sent in all the adoption papers, but had to send them again once it went into review. i also had to send proof that the haitian adoption actually cost @ least $12,500. I think maybe now people are going to start getting their refunds. I sure hope so!

April 20, 2011 at 12:08 am
(289) LS says:

We are in the process of an adoption, but it will not be finalized until sometime in 2012. I know that we have to wait a year on expenses paid in 2011, (or until finalized in 2012) but does that mean that for those 2011 expenses that we would only get whatever the credit is in 2012, or would we still be able to get the refunded portion for the 2011 expenses because they were in 2011? I have not found very much information about what happens if the adoption is finalized after 2011.

April 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm
(290) Tamara says:

Ronnie, did you get your refund? I still haven’t heard anything. They received my faxes on March 28th. I did call them late last week and they told me that it could be another 60 to 90 days, that they are so far behind. I’m just sad, I really wanted to go to a family wedding as my dad is 83 and I dont know how many more chances i will get to see him as we are 5,000 miles apart.

April 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm
(291) Robin says:

Do you mean 60 to 90 days till you get your return or till they start to look @ it? I just mailed mine in and htey told me when I called that it could be 30 to 90 days till it’s assigned to an examiner, then @ least 30 days till I get the refund.

April 24, 2011 at 2:06 am
(292) Ronnie says:

Tamara, NO, and my file was closed two weeks ago. I called Friday
4/22 and still no dd date. I wish they would stop jerking me around.The agent told me to call back this Friday if it didn’t show up by then.Hopefully it will be there this Friday. I can tell you this, they are just now doing mid- Feb. They are going by the date of your last doc. you have a long while a head you. It’s taken over three and half months for us to get this far, I’m thinking July? They are still working on the fthb.

April 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm
(293) Tamara says:

When I called they said mine was with a tax examiner but it would be 60 to 90 days before I got a DD. Ronnie if you faxed your paper work in on the 16 of March, I faxed mine on the 28th so shouldn’t we just be less than 2 weeks apart. We sent our taxes in 6 days apart. Are you being reviewed in Kansas City? Or are they doing yours somewhere else. It seems to me looking on other adoption site that the Atlanta people are working a lot faster than Kansas city. Unfortunately ours is in Kansas City :( Let us know when you get an update.

April 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm
(294) Paula says:

I am like the rest of you, NO RETURN! My husband & I adopted out special needs granddaughter last August. We filed Feb. 22 by mail and sent in everything they asked for. We also got the letter asking for more information, mailed that in and got a letter stating they received everything on March 28. I have called several times and everytime I call I get different information. The last women told me it is finally in the hands of an examiner but I should have my return in about 2 weeks. BUT after what I am reading here it doesn’t sound very promising! e need this money very bad and I am really upset but I guess that is just toooo bad huh!

April 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm
(295) Robin says:

Has anyone heard anything about the IRS in Austin Texas and how fast they are working? I mailed my taxes into Atlanta, but had to sent the requested info for the review to Austin Texas. Was wondering how fast they are working. Does anyone have a clue?

April 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm
(296) Tamara says:

Robin, I haven’t heard of any good things except out of Georgia. What i don’t understand is it seems like they are being sent all over some to California some to Atlanta, Austin ect.. Why didn’t they just keep them where you sent them in the first place to be reviewed. Just seems weird to me is all.I wish with all my heart that i could at least get them the first part of May but it doesn’t seem like that will happen.

April 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm
(297) Robin says:

Hi Tamara:
When I got my letter requesting additional info, there was the return envelope to send it to and the address was Austin, TX. BELIEVE ME! I would have never thought that I would be sending my taxes there or anything related to my taxes. Don’t understand it either cause I’m in Florida and have always mailed to Atlanta. One of my 3 adoptions is an international one from Haiti and that was what they wanted info about. There is probably an office in Austin that does the international adoptions and maybe thats why it had to go there. Driving me nuts though, cause like everyone else…need the money.

April 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm
(298) ronnie says:

Tamara, We claimed for hardship and was told it would be 24 hour and would have dd, it will two weeks this Monday. We were told that is the only reason our was pushed up to the front, otherwise it would be other 6 to 8 weeks. You can’t get a simple straight answer from any one who works there, they don’t have a clue. I think if I were you I would contact a ta and have them push your’s threw. Otherwise you are still looking at the next six week to eight weeks.
…will keep everybody informed..

April 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm
(299) Tamara says:

Ronnie, How do you claim hardship. My dad is 83 and in por health. We are 5ooo miles apart. Is that considered a hardship? Are yours in the Kansas city One?

April 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm
(300) Tamara says:

Ronnie, Also we were hoping to use the Money for a memorial festival in honor of our son who passed away 19 months ago. Should I mention that also?

April 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm
(301) Paula says:

Still nothing!
We live in Ohio and our taxes were mailed to Kansas. When we got the letter asking for more info it was to be mailed back to Andover MA. Talk about a screwed up mess! No wonder our government is so messed up! I am beginning to believe we will never get our money!

April 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm
(302) Tamara says:

Well I talk to someone at the IRS and they said that they received an update from Kansas City saying they are now working on the end of January reviews! Really? They told me last week that the email said February. Are we going backwards? She told me I was looking at 60 to 90 from the day are review Docs. were received, Which was on March 28th. So she said could be end of May or end of June. I hope
people have better luck in different place, Because so far Kansas City is the slowest.

April 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm
(303) Joseph says:

I am very nervous. I did not know that the adoption tax credit was fully refundable until I was having our return prepared. In any event, I was informed that we would receive a fairly substantial sum as a result of unused carryover from previous years. My wife and I completed two international adoptions.

When I went to the IRS’s refund status website a few weeks ater mailing, I got a message that our return was being reviewed and I would recieve a letter from the IRS soon and would have to submit more documentation (on top of the adoption decrees that were mailed with my return). Meanwhile, we recieved a refund less the adoption tax credit portion.

Well, I received the letter this afternoon. Apparently, the IRS wants proof of the money that we spent on the adoptions. At this point, since we kept no receipts (they were never required in the past tax years) and actually never received others, I am not sure where to start. Instinct tells me to contact the adoption agency as they must have some record of our dealings with them. The next stop will be the attorney we hired for the readoption. As far as the travel expenses incurred, I think we are screwed.

Does anyone have any advice? Note that I have not called the IRS to discuss the matter yet but do plan to. Thanks, Joe.

April 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(304) Robin says:

I’m in the wxact same boat as you. I brought my daughter home from Haiti in 2009 and I also have 2 domestic special needs adoptions. Anyway, i got the letter from iRS wanting proof of money spent on the international adoption. Luckily, I had saved all of my receipts, so that wasn’t a problem, but they also asked for cancelled checks and I couldn’t supply those cause I had used cashiers checks. The Adoption agency, @ my request, sent me a master invoice of all the money that I had sent them and the corresponding charges. They had put the check # for each payment next to the charge, so the bank was able to trace the checks and give me copies. I also had airfare and Spirit Airlines sent me the invoice via e-mail. Your Adoption Agency will have the records for you I’m sure. just get those from them and you might be able to pull up the check numbers off of those to get the cancelled checks. I spoke to someone @ IRS and they said that if I couldn’t get ahold of copies of the checks. it would probably be OK. I didn’t want to take a chance and got the copies of the checks for them. With a little persistance and detective work, you should be able to get the records that you need. Good luck and please let me know if you have any more questions that I might be able to answer.

April 27, 2011 at 1:34 am
(305) Joseph says:

Thanks Robin. I do have affidavits of adoption expenses from my attorney that were filed in my county’s family court system as part of the re-adoptions. These are legal documents that spell out the dollar amounts that were spent for each step of each adoption. I think at this point I will call the attorney’s office for advice.

April 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(306) Christy says:

I overnighted my documents after I received the second letter to Tennessee on 4-19-11. Has anyone else been instructed to send there and if so how fast are they moving. Has anyone gotten their tax credit yet?

April 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm
(307) Kim says:

Praise God…….there is hope! I received a letter today that my refund amount will not be changed! I should expect my refund in the next 4-6 weeks……along with that I was provided a phone number to call to check status along the way. Here is the timeline……….I filed my original return mid February…….within 3 weeks, I checked my refund status and found that I was being reviewed and would get a letter. I received the letter about 3 weeks later and sent the requested documents PRIORITY MAIL with ATTN: EXAMINATION UNIT in the body of the address (mine went to Fresno, CA). Today 4/26 I received my letter telling me the great news. The letter was dated 4/20 which was 12 days after sending in the requested documents. When I spoke with an agent just after receiving my letter requesting more info, she advised mailing because they asked to see the SEAL on the decree……..so I did. I wish you all the best…….I will write again when I receive the refund.

April 26, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(308) Paula says:

Kim, I am so happy for you. Thanks for sharing with us your time line, It gives us all hope!

April 27, 2011 at 7:28 am
(309) Kim says:

Happy to share whatever I have with all of you…….I think it’s important to step back and put things into perspective…….I feel like, first off, the government didn’t realize how many people could take this credit……..that being said, there is now this incredible influx of mail for the IRS……..not only pertaining to adoption credit issues, but tons of other issues as well. Pay particular attention to your details in your letters……..what are they asking for…….specifically (i.e. a copy of the adoption letter WITH SEAL)…….also think about faxing versus mailing AND whose attention you must address your correspondence to. If you don’t put ATTN: EXAMINATION UNIT or something of that sort……..your mail is just another random piece…….needing to be opened, read, sorted, distributed……..that alone could take weeks. If you fax it…….same thing……..imagine the number of faxes they are getting every day? I realize it’s frustrating……..I’m still not in the clear yet…….I don’t have the refund. And I feel for all of those who were anticipating trips to see loved ones and attend events that they otherwise couldn’t. Continue to be patient yet persistent. It WILL come!

April 27, 2011 at 10:25 am
(310) Robin says:

Hi everyone:
I called the IRS Office in Austin Tx because thats where I was instructed to send everything. Anyway, i tried to get my status and the woman that I spoke to said that I was “still under review” i asked her if I had been assigned to a tax examiner yet and she acted like she didn’t even know what I was talking abotu. I didn’t save my letter and sent it in with the additional info needed, so i don’t have the # to call directly in. Does anyone else have that #. I just called the general 800 # and was redirected. If anyone has the #, cn you please post it for me? Thanks Robin

April 27, 2011 at 10:59 am
(311) Paula says:

Hi Robin, I looked up my paperwork and the number I got to call in from them was 1-800-897-0177. DOn’t know where this number goes into but my letter was from Andover, MA, but I am sure you can call in there and just see what they tell you. I am still waiting too and I just sat down and had a good cry because we need this money so badly!! Didn’t help one bit though!!!!

April 27, 2011 at 11:23 am
(312) Robin says:

Thanks Paula: I called the # that you gave me and it says that it’s unavailable from my calling area. Don’t know what that means. I even tried my little Safelink Wireless phone and got the same mesage. Does anyone have another #. Thanks anyway Paula.

April 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm
(313) Robin says:

Hi Paula: I found out what the problem is..the # is 866 897 0177 and not 800 897 0177. Anyway, I called and they have not chenged my status @ all. I was told to ecpect my refund about 60 days after the “officially” receive the documents that I mailed in about a week ago. I’ll keep everyone updated about what I hear

April 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm
(314) Paula says:

Ooops! Your right it is 866 not 800. I’m Sorry! I guess if what they told you is true( who really knows!) then I won’t be getting my refund until the end of May or the first of June. They received mine on March 28th. I called last week and was told mine had been assigned to a examiner but so far my status has not changed. I heard your status will only change on Wednesdays as that is when the IRS updates them, don’t know if that is true or not! Right now I don’t know what is true!!! Good Luck Robin!

April 28, 2011 at 12:35 am
(315) Tamara says:

Paula, where is your taxes being reviewed? I was told the week before that mine was with an examiner and they also recieved mine the 28th. Well i called for an update this week and was told they are just finishing Jan. This is in Kansas city. I was wondering where yours is?

April 27, 2011 at 11:14 pm
(316) steve says:


Is the adoption tax credit available for married couples who file taxes “married, filing individually”?

I have heard conflicting answers on this.


April 28, 2011 at 8:47 am
(317) Paula says:

Steve , from what I have read on this you must file together to get this but I am no expert! Sorry!

April 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm
(318) William Perez says:

Steve, the adoption credit is available for a taxpayer who is married and decides to file a separate return — under certain conditions. The married filing separate taxpayer is eligible for the adoption credit if:

Your adjusted gross income, as modified for the purposes of the adoption credit, is under $222,520,
You report the adopted child on your Form 8839,
You lived apart from your spouse for at least the last 6 months of the year,
The adopted child lived with you for more than half the year, and
You provided over half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and your adopted child.

Now, strikingly, these are the same criteria for a married taxpayer to file as Head of Household. Thus, it seems to me, a married taxpayer in this situation would be better off taking head of household instead of married filing separate as their filing status, since the same criteria will qualify the taxpayer for both the adoption credit and HOH.

The IRS discusses these criteria for MFS taxpayers on page 2 of their Instructions for Form 8839. (pdf)

April 29, 2011 at 10:39 am
(319) Ronnie says:

Well. I’m done, finally got our full refund today… I hope everything goes quickly for the rest of you. I know this whole thing has been a nightmare for all of us. It seems as if it will never end. I’m so glad this has ended. Good luck to you all and be sure to stay on top of things. Thank you for your support threw this mess. God bless God speed..Ronnie

April 29, 2011 at 10:49 am
(320) Robin says:

So happy for you Ronnie! How long did it take from start to end? They requested additional info and I sent it in and that was a week ago. Mine is in Austin, Tx. Still trying to find out how fast they are moving. Please check in from time to time till we all get our refunds. We like hearing from you.

May 2, 2011 at 9:25 pm
(321) WENDY says:


April 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm
(322) William Perez says:

Congratulations, Ronnie! Like Robin, I’d be curious to know how long this adoption credit audit process lasted.

April 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(323) Paula says:

Congrats Ronnie! I am sooo happy for you! Hopefully the rest of us are right behind you. I am just as curious as the rest so would you mind telling us where you are from and your time line so maybe we can get some idea how ours will go! Again Congrats!

September 27, 2011 at 9:56 am
(324) Glenda says:

Hi Ronnie how did your refund come? Regular mail or fex or register or deposit did you have to sign for it?

April 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm
(325) Elizabeth says:

Congratulations Ronnie! So happy to hear that everything finally worked out, a beacon of hope for the rest of us:-) Did they add interest for you??
I broke down and called the IRS on Friday. The gentleman confirmed that our documentation was received earlier in April but it hadn’t been assigned to a reviewer yet. The documentation went to Holtsville, NY. Sounds like we’re in for more waiting.

May 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm
(326) WENDY says:


May 3, 2011 at 7:10 am
(327) Sue says:

Yea!!!!! Great News……Ours was ammended also but received at IRS 3-11-11. Was told yesterday it will be 12-16 weeks (worst case scenerio). So thank you for your update, yes there is hope. And hope sooner than 16 weeks too!

May 3, 2011 at 9:02 am
(328) Paula says:

Called the IRS number today that was on my paper. After about a 20 minute wait my call was answered. Told the lady I mailed in my information that they asked for on March 28th and my letter said it would take 30 days and I was wondering if she could give me an update???? Well she did, told me I wouldn’t hear anything new until AT LEAST the end of June!!!! I thanked her and hung up. Very upset but what can you do????

May 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm
(329) Christy says:

I received two letters from the IRS today. Both letters says that they received my requested documents on 4-19-11 and to expect a response within 30 days and the letter was dated for today. It also says that if I do not receive a response within 30 days to expect a letter with another expected response date. They obviously have handled the paperwork to generate the letter, why not just release my money?

May 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm
(330) Paula says:

Christy: You have a long wait ahead of you. I received the same letters you received today on March 29th. Mine said the same exact thing as yours! I called today as it has been OVER 30 days since I received my letters. I was told not to expect my refunds until AT LEAST the end of June!!! Good Luck!

May 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm
(331) Sue says:

At least you’re getting letters…mine was mailed to IRS 3-7-11 and received 3-11-11. Not ONE letter from the IRS. But we’ve called and they said it’s been assigned to an examiner now??? OK!! They also said 8-12 weeks from tyhe time it was received. So I guess we should get paid by July. When we asked if they apply interest, the lady said we’d know when we get the check, she wasn’t sure. Sounds like lack of training to me.

May 4, 2011 at 12:39 am
(332) Christy says:

Thanks Paula. This is crazy why not just give us OUR money.

May 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm
(333) Robin says:

I was wondering if anyone had heard how fast Austin, TX is moving campared to other offices/ I called a couple of days ago and was told that my additiona; info that they requested has been received, but hasn’t been assigned to an examiner yet. How long is it after it’s assigned before we usually get it?

May 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm
(334) Josiah says:

I am in Texas and it has been a diaster. I am still waiting on mine and it’s been 60 days after sending in the documentation for the fourth time. Hopefully, I will get a response soon.

May 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm
(335) Robin says:

Thanks Josiah: I really wis mine had been sent to Atlanta! I sent it to the address on the envelpoe they sent me. I called again Today and they said that a letter hadbeen sent to me either wanting more info or telling when it would be deposited. I sent in absolutely EVERYTHING! so don’t see how they could want more. I initially sent it in on Feb, 24th, so it’s been a while for me. Whan did you send in your initial refund? Do you htink that they are trying to deliberately stall us?

May 6, 2011 at 8:02 am
(336) Kim says:

Thanking the good Lord today! My refund was deposited yesterday……..no interest, but you know what?………that’s okay! I received my letter telling me that they were not going to adjust my refund and to expect it within 30 days; if I didn’t there was a number to call…….that was dated April 20 and the deposit occurred on May 5. My IRS office was out of Fresno CA. I’ve been in the same boat with you all and got very frustrated…….but it will come. Hang in there……..I pray it won’t be much longer for you all.

May 6, 2011 at 10:34 am
(337) Sue says:

More good news!!!! Thanks Kim!!!

May 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm
(338) Christy says:

They recieved the requested documents on 4-19-11 and we called last week and was told that we will have our deposit within 30 days, but may receive a letter stating they need an additional two weeks. We called again today and it is still under review. What is the average time to get your money after they receive the requested documents?

May 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm
(339) Paula says:

Christy, They received our additional info that we sent in on March 29th. I called last week and I was told not to expect our refund until the end of June. Good Luck!

May 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm
(340) Robin says:

They received my additional info on April, 20th. I phoned today and was told that if I did not receive the refund by June 14th or receive a request for more info by then to call them. They also said that they could “work with what i gave tgem” I assume that means that the requested info I sent was enough to satisfy them. So hard to figure out sometimes!

May 13, 2011 at 9:18 am
(341) Paula says:

Robin where did you have to send your info to?I had to send mine to Andover MA? I know some are working faster than others but I must have the slowest one there is!

May 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm
(342) Robin says:

Hi Paula: Mine went to Austin, TX. That makes no sense @ all cause i live in Florida and have always sent my taxes to Atlanta.I spoke to someone @ IRS who told me that it didn’t matter where it was sent to and I spoke to someone else @ IRS who said that it did matter. They received my taxes on Feb, 26th.

May 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm
(343) Tamara says:

I Received a letter that said as soon as I signed the document from the last letter I faxed , they would release our refund. Finally after 103 days there is an end in site!. I will let you all know when it is deposited.

May 13, 2011 at 8:33 am
(344) Josie says:

I had the form 8839 in my 2008 return when I adopted the kids. I showed it as a carryover in my 2009 and had the form again in 2010. I just got a letter saying I need to amend my 2009 to include the form 8839. All I am saying pm it is that I didn’t adopt any more kids! And I’m a tax accountant! Come on, this is getting ridiculous.

May 13, 2011 at 9:22 am
(345) Robin says:

I don’t get it! You had the kids on all of your years tax returns and now they are telling you that you have to amend it? I seriously hope thats an error on their part. If it’s not, then it’s a stall tactic and it makes me wonder if they are going to try this on more of us. I claimed the tax credit last year only before this year. I hope they don’t try this with me. Have you called them? You really need to…it might just be a mistake on their part.
Please let us know what happens

May 13, 2011 at 9:27 am
(346) cindy says:

We received part of our refund today. It’s the amount it would be without the adoption credit. When I go to the web site it says they’re sending me some stuff for additional information. Kind of strange that we already got the deposit without the tax credit. Hoping it all still works out..So glad to see everyone who’s had good results! Congrats to ya’ll!!

May 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm
(347) Tamara says:

I think most of us got the refund without the credit. I sent mine in on Feb 1st and I just got word that mine will be released as soon as they document the signature on the last thing faxed in.

May 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm
(348) Adam says:

@cindy. Got our refund Friday and also noticed it was without the adoption credit. You write, “when I go to the web site it says they’re sending me some …..” Which web site are you specifically referring to and how do I find out info for our situation?

Thanks and God bless everyone.

May 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm
(349) cindy says:

Adam, sorry I wasn’t more specific. I went to irs.gov, where’s my refund. It says they’re sending us documents to fill out and return to them. The only thing is that I sent everything that was on the adoption credit form, and a few more, just to be safe.

May 14, 2011 at 10:20 am
(350) Sue says:

We finally received a letter today. Mailed our ammended returns on March 7th. They recived them March 11th. Letter is dated May 4th to say they received them??? It just says if we have questions to call the 800# on the letter. We sent our taxes to Texas but the letter gives an address in Holtsville, NY to mail inquiries only. So who knows how long, but the good news is they didnt ask for any more info.

May 14, 2011 at 11:12 am
(351) Elizabeth says:

Still Waiting…. I called a representative in Holtsville, NY yesterday and she apologized for the wait. (First live person I’ve spoken to that showed any empathy). She said that they’re just now starting on all documentation received the first week of April. Ours was received on the 18th so she indicated that we have another 2-3 week wait before its even looked at. We sent our original return on 2/14 so *yawn* this is getting tiring. Will update as we go along…

May 19, 2011 at 8:54 am
(352) Paula says:

Well I just called the IRS AGAIN…… and this time I was told my refund will be direct deposited THIS FRIDAY!!!!! I was totally shocked as i have not received any letter in the mail or anything. Si I guess we will see if what she told me is true tomorrow, stay tuned friends, I will let you know!!!!

May 19, 2011 at 10:47 am
(353) Robin says:

Great news Paula! I sent my requested info and they received it on April 20th. Hope that means mine will be here soon. Just curious about 2 things: did your online status ever change from it saying you were in review? and how often do you call them to check on your stauts? I have been calling every week.

May 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm
(354) Paula says:

Yes Robin my status did change just this last Wednesday. It went from being in review to a delay message with a 2012 code ( I believe that is the number, not sure). It said if I had questions to call so i did and that is when they said It would be direct deposited this Friday. I will let you know tomorrow if i got it or not, Good Luck Friend! Oh and I called every week, usually on Wednesday.

May 20, 2011 at 6:52 am
(355) Paula says:

OHHHH Happy Days!!!! My refund was deposited this morning!!!! No interest but I think I can live with that! Good luck to all of you and know that there is hope and relief at the end of this mess!!!!

May 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(356) Robin says:

I’m so happy for you Paula! I know it’s been a long time for you. I called Yesterday and mine is “in Examination” Guess that means the examiner has it and @ least it’s not waiting to be seen. I’m supposed to be hearing somehting soon, within 30 days of The 9th. Hope they give me the money and don’t ask for more paperwork. Anyway..I’m really happy for you!

May 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm
(357) Stephanie says:

We adopted domestically. Home study and agency deposit were paid in 2007 & 2008 (no expenses in 2009, just waiting), then in 2010 we made the last (big!) payment when our little girl was placed with us. We didn’t finalize until 2011. As advised by the IRS back in March, I amended our 2008 & 2009 returns and attached the 8839s expecting we’d get about $6,000 refunded and could claim the remaining $7,000 with our 2011 return next year. Got letters from the IRS last week that “We have recorded your carry forward.” No money though. I spent two hours on the phone with the IRS today and was ultimately told that my amended returns were designated “no change” – as in no money due us. The person on the call line said she couldn’t tell me anything more and I’d have to write a letter (to Andover, MA), and I’d get a substantive answer within 30 days. So what the heck? With domestic adoptions, aren’t I supposed to be able to get refunds before the adoption is finalized, or does “credit” not mean money? If I show the $6,000 carry forward on my 2011 return next year, will I get $7,000 back or $13,000? I’m also wondering if they know this was a domestic adoption – I don’t see where I ever indicated one way or the other on the 8839. We do not make too much money. I’m going to write the letter, but was wondering if anyone here had some insight.

May 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm
(358) Stephanie says:

We adopted domestically. Home study and agency deposit were paid in 2007 & 2008 (no expenses in 2009, just waiting), then in 2010 we made the last (big!) payment when our little girl was placed with us. We didn’t finalize until 2011. As advised by the IRS back in March, I amended our 2008 & 2009 returns and attached the 8839s expecting we’d get about $6,000 refunded and could claim the remaining $7,000 with our 2011 return next year. Got letters from the IRS last week that “We have recorded your carry forward.” No money though. I spent two hours on the phone with the IRS today and was ultimately told that my amended returns were designated “no change” – as in no money due us. The person on the call line said she couldn’t tell me anything more and I’d have to write a letter (to Andover, MA), and I’d get a substantive answer within 30 days. So what the heck? With domestic adoptions, aren’t I supposed to be able to get refunds before the adoption is finalized, or does “credit” not mean money? If I show the $6,000 carry forward on my 2011 return next year, will I get $7,000 back or $13,000? I’m also wondering if they know this was a domestic adoption – I don’t see where I ever indicated one way or the other on the 8839. We do not make too much money. I’m going to write the letter, but was wondering if anyone here had some insight.

May 21, 2011 at 9:06 am
(359) Paula says:

Stephanie, I am sorry for you. I do not know anything about this but if i were you I would contact a professional to look into this! WHo fills out your taxes? Other than that I would call again and keep buggin them until you get a straight answer. SOme of the people I talked to didn’t have a clue as to what was going on when I called and some of the others did. Good Luck!

May 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm
(360) Robin says:

Was the adoption considered “special needs” and do you get a sussidy payment for this child? If it isn’t “special needs”, then maybe thats what it is. All s really has me worried!

May 22, 2011 at 11:08 am
(361) Stephanie says:

No, she’s not special needs. But we still qualify for the adoption credit because we spent over $13,000 in actual adoption expenses (and the amounts I reported in 2008 & 2009 do not exceed what we paid in taxes for those years). I spoke at length with someone in Tax Law at the IRS in March and confirmed we qualified and could take it over several years starting back to the year we first had expenses. But Tax Law can’t help me now because they can only tell you what to do, not why it didn’t work. The Tax Law woman I spoke to on Friday was very sympathetic.

May 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm
(362) avb says:

well i sent my stuff out feb 7, 3 weeks ago i sent out the other stuff everyone else has had to send back in adoption papers ect so today i get a letter that says we have processed your 1040x and associated the information with your tax return the form1040x did not effect the amount of your tax and / or credits anyone else get this one

May 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm
(363) Robin says:

Hi avb: What exactly are they trying to tell you? Are they saying that you can’t get your return? I am interested in what everyone else is experiencing with the tax credit because they seem to be pulling rabbits out of hats as far as the tax credit goes.

May 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm
(364) Stephanie says:

This sounds very much like my letter. I did my own taxes, but I do finance for a living and I really don’t think there was an error on my part. The first person at the IRS help line transferred me to the Tax Law division but that woman said she couldn’t access specific returns and transferred me back. The second woman at the main line said the same as the first – amended return accepted, carryover processed, no money due me. She admitted she didn’t understand the adoption credit so she couldn’t explain what that meant. They get points for honesty, I guess. I’m sending out my “what’s up” letter this weekend and will report back if I hear something helpful before anyone else does.

May 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm
(365) Jana says:

We adopted in 2009 and told we were eligible for adoption tax credit because we were approved for state subsidy. We are on the waiting list for state subsidy, but we have been approved for it. We sent in the paperwork to the IRS and now they are saying they need more. Shouldn’t being approved for state subsidy be proof enough that you have a special needs child? Aren’t special needs kids they only ones that get state subsidy? Does anyone know?

May 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm
(366) kevin newell says:

We adopted 3 special needs kids in 2007. I filed my 2010 1040 in January. I filed my amended returns for ’07, ’08, ’09 and forms 8839 in February along w/ supporting adoption documentation. I received letters in March accepting all of our amended returns. I sent my amended 2010 return and form 8839 at the end of Feb. We received a letter of acceptance the first week in April, and we received our refund check within 3 weeks. All of our amended returns were sent to the Fresno, CA office. We thank God that all went so well. I had no help in filing. If you have questions, maybe I can help. Kevin

May 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm
(367) Roderick says:

I am filing my o8, o9, and 10 tax returns and I am wondering how do you carry over from year to year? option was final in 2006. When it asks did you have adoption expenses for the particular year, let’s say 08? What do you put there? Is it zero for that year and then carry what was left the year before?

May 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm
(368) Sue says:

FINALLY….IRS told us this morning that our check will be mailed on Friday!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!

May 24, 2011 at 12:32 am
(369) ana says:

does anybody outhere ..you adoption subsidy specify that the children are special needs cuse mine doesnt and i was wondering if some of them specify special need children

May 24, 2011 at 8:54 am
(370) Sue says:

When I sent ours, we included the court adoption decree and a letter from the Social worker on State letter head that she addressed to the IRS stating our children are special needs and her contact info. The IRS accepted that.

May 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm
(371) Tamara says:

We got our refund 118 days after our taxes were sent to the irs and we were in review for over 90 days. So glad this is over.

May 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm
(372) cindy says:

Received a letter today, stating we’re being reviewed, and need to send in more documents. They want us to send in: the final adoption order of decree, and the state’s determination of special need designation. I sent in the decree, and the subsidy statement. So, I’m not sure what they mean by special need designation. We weren’t given anything stating that our kids were special needs. They were from sibling groups, several developmentally delayed. Anyone w/idea on what they mean, please let me know. thx..

May 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm
(373) Robin says:

Just send in the Subsidy Agreement again. I’m pretty sure thats what they want. When you get eveiwed, your tax documents go from one office to another, but your other documents don’t. so they just want you to send again the documents that you sent with your tax documents. The subsidy agreement is proof of special needs cause you don’t get a subsidy unless they are special needs.

May 24, 2011 at 9:55 pm
(374) cindy says:

thanks robin. That’s kinda what I figured. I actually sent each subsidy agreement in for each of the 5 kids. I’ll just copy them, and send them again.

June 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(375) Janice says:

In Kansas our worker in charge of the subsidy determination gave us a form entitled “Eligibility for Adoption Assistance” and said it might help. Se we sent that along with the subsidy agreement, adoption decrees…. We are still waiting on our review but they haven’t requested any additional paperwork. I think the last letter said they’d give us more info in the next 45 days.

May 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(376) Christy says:

Ok…they received our documents 4-19-11 and we received a letter saying we would receive a response within 30 days or a letter giving us a new response date. Today we received a letter stating that we would hear a response before 7-3-11. We called them, again, and were told basically we call too much and they can not tell if it is assigned to anyone because their system is still down from last week. I was confident we would receive it in the next two weeks because of prior conversations with the IRS but we get a different answer each time we call.

May 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm
(377) christy says:

They received our documents on 4-19-11 and we received a letter that we would have a response within 30 days or another letter saying we would have a letter with a new day as to when to expect a response. Each time we call we get a different answer and today we received a letter stating we would have a response before 7-3-11.

May 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm
(378) Dana says:

Christy, I got the same crap in the mail today too. My audit material is dated 4/17. I called about this last Friday and the lady on the phone told me our case was closed on 5/24 and audit was complete and should see a refund in 2 weeks or less. Then this in the mail today stating we should hear something by 7/2/11. I don’t understand how there can be such differing information.

June 1, 2011 at 7:17 am
(379) Elizabeth says:

We received the same letter yesterday as well, only ours specified July 2nd. The letter was also dated for 6/1? Our previous letter told us to expect a response by June 9th. We, too, called last week and were told the computers were down and they could not get any information.

June 1, 2011 at 11:01 am
(380) Robin says:

Just called again to check the status. I call every Wednesday. anyway, I was told that “The Service Center” doing the refund is running behind. In other words, no changes. I filed on February 24th! They said that they had not ” made a decision” about my case. Thats scarey cause I thought it was a sure thing, but other people are being denied their returns. Don’t know what to think!

June 1, 2011 at 11:53 am
(381) Dana says:

Denied as in, not getting the money even though you qualify for it? This is a big mess.

June 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(382) Robin says:

Yea, a few people who qualified have gotten a response stating that the credit was carried over, but no money was owed. One of them was a tax preparer or something along those lines and she got that letter. seh did her taxes and knows she didn’t make a mistake.

June 3, 2011 at 10:21 am
(383) Elizabeth says:

Progress finally! I called this morning and was told that our documentation was accepted by the reviewer and that “everything is determined to be in your favor”. She said we’re in the “pending closure” category and should expect our refund to be released within a 12 day time frame. I hope so! It will be nice to put this behind us! Will update…

June 4, 2011 at 1:22 am
(384) ana says:

elizabeth what documents did you send in cuz my documents where received in irs april 14 and still havent been reviewd by the examiner. i sent them birth certificates adoption decree and subsidy agreenment do u think subsidy agreement shoul be enogh to prove special needs children?!!

June 4, 2011 at 7:27 am
(385) Elizabeth says:

Ana- I sent in copies of the court documents that have official seals (just regular photocopies) and copies of the subsidy agreements. On our subsidies, the boxes are checked “handicapped”. I am not sure if basic rate subsidies qualify? We have other subsidized children that have the “hard to place” box checked and are at a lower rate. Maybe someone else out there has an answer???

June 4, 2011 at 1:53 am
(386) ana says:

has anybody been denied a refund because irs didnt accept a subsidy agreement as proof of special needs children?!! or on the other side, has anybody that sent a subsidy agreement as proof of special needs children has recived the refund already?!!

June 6, 2011 at 8:13 am
(387) Sue says:

It doesn’t ask for subsidy agreements. It wants proof of special needs. An adoption (social worker) wrote letter from the state we adopted and staed that our children are special needs and they accepted that as proof. She also said that she has typed numerous letters like ours for families. The IRS contacted her office for verification.

June 6, 2011 at 9:16 am
(388) Robin says:

On my subsidy agreement, it says that my kids are special needs. will that suffice? I didn’t get a letter from a Social Worker.

June 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm
(389) William Perez says:

I found some additional insights into what’s been going on behind the scenes at the IRS in processing the adoption credit. Some key facts from TIGTA testimony before Congress: the IRS is auditing over half of adoption credit returns, resulting in long delays for taxpayers.

June 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm
(390) Dana says:

We finally got our refund for the carryover on 6/3. On the letter from the IRS it states they received the paperwork for the audit on 4/17.

June 10, 2011 at 9:08 am
(391) Elizabeth says:

Talked to a representative this morning and was told that our case is closed but it would take 4-6 weeks for the refund. We were told last week that it would be a 12 day time frame so I’m not sure what happened. ….Still waiting!

June 10, 2011 at 10:02 am
(392) Robin says:

I sent in the papers Yesterday for a hardship case. thats where they help you get it faster if you have a severe hardship. Even with that, it still takes time. I’ll let everyone know what happens.

June 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm
(393) Christy says:

We finally got a hold of someone from our department and was told that we have not been assigned to anyone yet and that they were working on May’s now. They received our documents 4-19-11. They said they would forward a not to someone and they would call us by today.

June 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm
(394) Christy says:

Called the IRS today since they did not call us and was told that our case was closed with no change, meaning they are giving us our money. Does anyone know how long it takes to get the money after they close your account?

June 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm
(395) Elizabeth says:

WMR was updated today and says that we’re being mailed a check 6/17. I hope we get a direct deposit though. Its been a 2 week wait since our case was closed.

June 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(396) Dana says:

I do know this – they process refunds on Fridays so if you have a direct deposit, check your account on a Friday.

June 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm
(397) sarah says:

Ok, so we adopted our daughter(finalized) in 2005. We received a $5000 assistance check from my employer which covered all of our expenses. We adopted our son in 2008 and after the $5000 assistance we still spent $18,000 plus out of pocket. We only got tax credit in 2009. Had some job losses and financial hardships so we didn’t get anything last year. Our tax preparer says we’ll be getting back $22,454 this year. Does this seem legit? We didn’t know anything about te refundable tax year until this past week when we had an adoption situationfall through, bmom changed her mind 12 hours before we were to get placement :( So, needless to say, we were a little shocked to hear this refund amount. Does anyone have any thoughts? Does this sound like a reasonable refund amount? Thanks to anyone who can help!


June 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(398) Christy says:

Our account has been closed for two weeks and we called today to inquire when we would get our refund. I was advised today it would be another 6 weeks.

June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm
(399) Robin says:

If i didn’t know that other people had gotten their refund, i would think it was just some big lie. When did you first file and where is yours being processed? Mine is in Austin texas and they are working on late March. I am claiming hardship. I should know pretty soon about my status. Please keep us informed.

July 1, 2011 at 10:28 am
(400) Robin says:

Hi Christy: I was wondering if you ever got your money. Did you use a tax advocate?

June 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm
(401) Robin says:

UPDATE: I heard from the Tax advocate Today about my case. It seems that IRS is only letting me claim the credit fr the year the adoption became final in Haiti and not when I brought her home. I had to sign an agreement that I would settle fot $500.00 less than I was expecting and then fax it back. I had the option fo fighting it, but decided not to. I did my homework a long time ago and the adoption is only final when the chld is home and not when it’s final in the home country. I fugure that with the way that some people are being railroaded, that $500.00 wasn’t that big of a deal. The advocate says that I should have my money in 2 weeks, but I won’t get my hopes up. I’m figuring about 3 weeks or a month. Will keep all of you posted

July 7, 2011 at 10:15 am
(402) Robin says:

Got my money this morning! It was dd into my bank account. They even paid interest. Everyone YOURS WILL COME TOO! DON’T GIVE UP! I had an advocate workong for me and it made all the difference. All of you might want to consider doing that. Have GREAT DAY! I KNOW I WILL!

July 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm
(403) Stephanie says:

Robin – I’m really happy for you, although it stinks that you had to forfeit the $500 when you know you’re right.

I’m the person who got a letter from the IRS in May that my carryover was approved, but no refund was due me. I wrote back asking for further explanation – the IRS had 30 days to reply and on the 30th day I got a letter that they’d granted themselves 45 more days.

Was the Tax Advocate assigned to you because you made a hardship claim or was that someone you hired outside the IRS? If the former, what constitutes a hardship? If that latter, what did it cost you?


July 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm
(404) Robin says:

Hi Stephanie:
You really need an advocate! You should call IRS and request one. I think they have to refer you to one. My advocate was assigned by IRS and it made all the difference in the world! She was assigned to me because I made a hardship claim. You should call IRS and try to make a hardship claim. After it’s been assigned to an advocate they take care of it from then on. Where is your return being processed? Mine was Austin Texas and the advocates there do a wonderful job! If they are fighting you on it, then you really do need to look into this. As for me, i’m letting things go as they are cause I was broke and couldn’t wait any longer, but I will try to fight maybe on next years taxes for that 500 bucks cause it was really due to me.

July 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm
(405) ana says:

rob. how do u know that they paid u interest and how much interest was paid to you?!

July 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm
(406) Robin says:

Hi Ana: They told me that I would be getting interest and it came to over 200 bucks. I got a leter from my Advocate saying that the interest had been paid and how much it was. I think it was 248.00

July 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm
(407) MiMi says:

I am adopting a girl from foster care. She is considered special needs as an adoption subsidy will be received. She will be placed with us in another week. In reading I hear that some can claim the credit prior to the adoption becoming final.

I am assuming that the adoption will be final during 2012. It may come right to the wire whether it’s 2011 or 2012. I would like to claim the credit during the 2011 since it will be refundable. Is there a way to claim the credit for 2011 if she is only placed with us without the adoption actually being “final”?

July 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm
(408) Jan says:

I have been following this thread for awhile and thought I would finally share our experience. We have adopted 6 children through foster care over the course of the last 5 years. All are classified as special needs. We filed our taxes the first week of March this year and received notification that we were being reviewed a few weeks later. We immediately sent in the requested documentation, which was received by the IRS on 4/29/11. A month ago we received a letter stating they were finally reviewing ours and we should receive a response by today; 7/13/11. There was still no response or change to our status online today so I contacted them again to check on our status. The gentleman I spoke with said that he has been reviewing returns from the last week of April, approximately 4/25/11 and that ours should be reviewed either this week or next week. He said that from that point, when our case is closed, our refund should be deposited within two weeks. So, we shall see.

July 16, 2011 at 10:08 am
(409) Blanche says:

I adopted a child at the age of 16 and was granted the adoption credit which is credited in the form of a carry over. Now I am told that I am not entitled to the remainder because he is 18. An adoption is an adoption whether it be special needs or not. I believe that I should receive the remainder of the credit because I am entitled to it. What happens to the credit that I have not received?

July 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(410) Sandi says:

Okay, so now that the adoption tax credit is refundable, how does that work with what would have been the amount of your tax refund if you weren’t getting the ATC? For instance, this year we received roughly a $3,000 tax refund given what we paid in and our deductions, etc. We adopted a 9 year old child out of foster care and the adoption was finalized in 2011. We live in Ohio and according to the NACAC website info. for Ohio, our child is considered special needs because she is older than 6 years old and she is a minority. When we submit our tax paperwork for 2011 will we get the full $13,170 in addition to whatever refund we would normally be eligible for, or will we only get the adoption tax credit money ($13,170)? We had adopted another special needs child in 2005 and received the tax credit over a couple of years but since it was nonrefundable, the amount we got back each year was equal to the amount of Fed. taxes we paid in until we had used up the full tax credit…back then I think it was in the $10,000-$11,000 range.

July 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm
(411) Dana says:

As far as the 2005 adoption, not sure if you would have any “credit” left or not. But for the 2011 adoption, you get whatever your normal refund would be plus the adoption tax “refund”. For example: we got (regardless of the ATC) ~ $5,000 for our regular tax refund. We had a credit carryforward since our adoption was complete in 2009 of another ~$6,000. Your situation is a bit different if you didn’t claim the tax credit for this 2011 child already, but our ATC of $6,000 was to complete the ATC of $13,170 (which is allowed as a refund in 2011, rather than a credit). There is a worksheet out there to determine if you have a credit carryforward from your 2005 adoption. Make sense? In short, when you file your 2011 taxes you should get your “normal” refund PLUS the $13,170.

July 21, 2011 at 10:44 am
(412) Josie says:

We got the full adoption credit on 7/8/11! With interest! We mailed our returns 2/16 and had to amend 2009. Yay!

July 26, 2011 at 2:49 am
(413) Angie says:

I will be adopting 3 children in 2011. Will they qualify for this adoption credit? For the refundable credit, I mean…I am really confused on how this works.

July 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm
(414) Dana says:


When you file your 2011 taxes is when you would claim the expenses for the 2011 adoption. I am not sure if the 2011 “credit” is just a credit or a refund. Either way, unless your income is over the limit, you should get some money back.

September 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm
(415) Mary says:

The credit is refundable in 2011 as well as 2010. If you are adopting children from foster care who received adoption assistance they are considered special needs and you can claim the full credit of $13,360 per child. You will file for this using a 2011 Form 8839 when you file your 2011 taxes next year. If the children do not receive adoption assistance you are eligible to claim your qualified adoption expenses up to the maximum of $13,360 per child.

July 28, 2011 at 10:06 am
(416) Ruth says:

I adopted a special needs child in 2006 thru the foster system, I didn’t know about the adoption credit. I was notified by the county I adopted him from that I am eligible for the tax credit now.(7/2011) Isn’t it too late to file an amended return?

September 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm
(417) Mary says:

It is not too late although you may have lost some of the credit (it’s too late to get any amount you would have received in 2006 or 2007–the amount you would have gotten that year is based on your tax liability that year, which is the amount of your money the IRS keeps in federal income tax). Does the child receive adoption subsidy/adoption assistance? If so you are eligible for a credit of $10,960. You would need to file a Form 8839 for 2006, amend those taxes, and then carry the credit forward each year until you have received it all.

July 28, 2011 at 10:08 am
(418) Jenny says:

I have a question about being able to carry over out-of-pocket costs. We had a failed adoptive placement in 2009. We submitted the form for the Adoption Tax Credit with our 2010 year tax return. We received the full $13,170. About a month later (now 2011), we successfully adopted our son. Our TOTAL out-of-pocket cost for both adoption attempts was in excess of $40,000 but we only paid our agency fees once (the fees paid for the first attempt rolled over to the second attempt). Does that mean we will be able to file for the Adoption Tax Credit again with our 2011 year tax return (claiming our total cost less the credit we already received)? Or was the refundable credit just a one-time thing?

August 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm
(419) Dana says:

From what I understand the credit is per adoption. You would not be able to claim the fees if you only paid them once, but new fees incurred for the successful adoption would be able to be claimed. On your 2011 taxes you can submit costs for your 2011 adoption.

August 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm
(420) Teresa McKelvy says:

Does anyone know how long after the taxpayer advocate faxes over the hardship case to when you receive your money?

August 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm
(421) Robin says:

It almost always takes a month to process. If she faxed it over Today, you should get your refund about Sept 9th. the advocate should have a pretty good idea of when it’s going to be deposited and they are always accurate, but it should be about a month. Supposedly always deposits on a Friday, but I got mine on a Thursday.

August 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm
(422) Teresa McKelvy says:

Thanks Robin. I hope my advocate calls me with some info soon! She faxed over everything on Friday so now I will just wait.

August 11, 2011 at 9:20 am
(423) Dana says:

We adopted 5 special needs and sent in ALL of the required info in our amended tax paperwork for 2010. The IRS received it on 4/23/2011. 2 days from now, it will be 16 weeks and they still keep putting me off. It’s for $65,750 refund. I’ve called the taxpayer advocate, but all they can tell me is that I have to wait ANOTHER 30 days after the 16 week deadline that the IRS gave me. Has anyone else had it take this long for their adoption tax amended refund? tx. d.

August 29, 2011 at 9:57 am
(424) cindy says:

we finally received a letter from the IRS stating that we had a $49000.00 carryover from 2008. The next letter said that we had no carryover for 2009. So for all the years that we paid H & R block to do our taxes and use our adoption credit, they didn’t and the time limit has ran out. So we’re out of luck. Very disgusted with it all. Good Luck to everyone else!!

September 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(425) Mary says:

What year did you adopt? If you adopted in 2003, the last year you could use the credit was 2008.

September 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm
(426) cindy says:

Mary we adopted in 2004 and the last year to use it was 09.

September 1, 2011 at 12:40 am
(427) Lisa says:

We were sent a notice from the IRS that the adoption Decree was needed to verify the finalization of the adoption. I can not find it. I think it was sent to the office of Calif vital records for the birth certificate. Do we get it back (the Decree) or is the birth certificate enough to send to the IRS for the refund?

September 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm
(428) Mary says:

You should be able to request another copy from the court that finalized the adoption.

September 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm
(429) Lesley says:

I have a question……Our foreign adoption was finalized in 2008. We spend $40,000+ on the adoption. We used the credit in 2008. Is there any way to continue with the credit in 2009 and 2010 until we get the $40,000 that we spent??? I know this a weird question, but this is what we were told by our tax preparer, now the IRS is saying no……that I can only do it the one time in 2008 when we took almost the entire credit ($11,000) The IRS is now saying all we are entitled to is a few hundred dollars in carry forward (of course with amended 2009 and 2010 taxes) Is this true???? We have been waiting on amended tax returns for this adoption since March 2011 in the amount of $28,000+. Any insight would be great. How can a tax preparer be so inept???? Please tell me this is not true.

September 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm
(430) Mary says:

Your maximum credit is basically the $11,650 for the year you finalized. It’s a one-time credit per child so you can’t get the full $40,000. Unfortunately, your tax preparer was wrong.

September 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm
(431) Amy says:

I adopted two special needs children on 2006. It has been awhile I do not file income taxes because I have not been working. I have been totally taking care of the children I have adopted. I would like to know if I still qualify even though I have not filed nor worked ever since I have adopted them.

Your responds will be appreciated. Thank you.

September 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm
(432) William Perez says:

Unfortunately, tax returns for the year 2006 are now closed under the 3-year statute of limitations for additional refunds or tax credits. It’s my understanding that the IRS has been denying adoption credits that are older than this 3-year time frame.

September 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm
(433) Noemi says:

William thank you for your responds.

I got this information from the North American Council on Adoptable Children which states as follows:

A letter from the IRS explaining that although tax credits earned more than three years back will be lost, you can still file for the adoption tax credit and use the amount to be carried forward. (The instructions for Form 8839 for 2010 also state if you adopted from 2005-2009 and didnít claim the credit, you can amend now to claim the credit.) Some preparers arenít aware of this, so we want to be sure that you arenít talked out of the credit.

So it is possible to get the credit as the letter states from the IRS.


September 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm
(434) Mary says:

The IRS is definitely accepting adoption credits older than three years. You cannot get any refund you were due in a closed year (2006 or 2007 in Amy’s case), but if you had any credit to carry over to 2008, 2009, or 2010 it is not too late to get that. You still have to file a Form 8839 for 2006 and 2007, but just don’t ask for any money you were due back those years (that amount must be subtracted from what you request in 2008, 2009, 2010). If you were not working in 2006 and 2007 then you would not have been due anything those years and don’t have to subtract anything.

September 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm
(435) Pam says:

Please look above at the comment in July 2011 from Mimi. I have the same question. Adoption of special needs baby might not be final until January 2012. Can we file for it in 2011? Adoption petition has been filed already and we have had him since birth- 11-12-10. Please help with this question. I think it is very unfair if these adoptions in process are cheated out of the refundable credit.

October 7, 2011 at 9:29 am
(436) Pam says:

? about REFUNDABLE credit for special needs baby we are adopting. If anyone can answer my question about adopting a special needs child that was placed with us at birth- Nov. 2010….and adoption might not be finalized until Jan. 2012. We have the adoption subsidy approved for him as a special needs child. We have been told that adoption must be finalized by Dec. 2011 to qualify for the REFUNDABLE credit. This does not seem fair. This Affordable Care Act was to try to get these choldren out of the foster care system and into permanent homes. It seems crazy they would give it to children that were already adopted in years past and not the people that are /and have been in the process of adopting since this bill was passed. Contact me with answer please @ PJosborn68@aol.com thanks. Pam

October 12, 2011 at 10:23 am
(437) Burt McDaniel says:

We adopted once in 1997 and once in 1999. We have been carrying forward 11K in adoption credits since then.

While researching this refund info, my acctant found a five year limit on rolling credits forward. Does that mean we simply lose the credits? Any chance of participating in the refund program for 2010 taxes.


October 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm
(438) WENDY says:


October 13, 2011 at 7:24 am
(439) BJ says:

@Wendy. Are you saying that the credit was lost because it was too late to amend the return? Therefore it was lost. It was my understanding that a tax payer could try and amend previous returns to get the credit. I guess in the case of Burt McDaniel 1997 and 1999 was too far back, but you had carryover left from 2001 carryforward to 2006 and you were denied? I have read that a some on this forum received refunds for carryforward they had from 2003. I guess I am just wondering what the IRS told you as to why you could not get the refund. I will say that I think the information that IRS provides regarding the carryforward can be interperted a couple ways. And from reading this and other forums some of these older carryforwards are getting refunded.

October 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm
(440) JANE says:

I have adopted a child in 2011 but the adoption will not be finalized until Jan or Feb 2012. Can I get the tax refund on my 2011 return if it is not finalized. Thanks

November 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(441) MaryAnn says:

I am going to adopt 2 children in 2012. Will I be able to get the tax credit or is it no longer available in 2012? Does not seem fair it ends in 2011

November 8, 2011 at 8:07 am
(442) William Perez says:

The adoption tax credit will be available for the year 2012. The maximum amount of the credit will be $12,650 (instead of $13,360 as in 2011), and the credit will be non-refundable and will have carryover provisions (instead of being fully refundable as in 2011).

November 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm
(443) Jared says:

We just finalized the adoption of our daughter last week. She does not have special needs and wanted to see what amount I qualified for as a refund. Total cost of our adoption was 25,000 and I am sure I will not get that much as a return but are we intitled to anything back this Tax season? Can anyone recommed someone who is good to do our taxes as well. I have always done our taxes via turbo tax but think this may be alittle out of my league.

Thanks Jared

November 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(444) Chris says:

Hello. My wife and I finalized our domestic adoption in 2011, but our income level in 2011 is above the max permitted which allows us to take the adoption credit. Is it possible to claim this credit on our 2011 return anyway (filed April 2012), receive a zero credit for 2011 due to the income level but then carry the credit forward to future years to claim if our income level decreases below the max allowed? Thank you!

November 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm
(445) Zach says:

My wife and I are starting the process of adopting 4 sisters their ages are 13, 11, 8, and 7. They were placed with us Nov. 17 2010. Would be qualify for any of this??? I am very confused…..

November 23, 2011 at 11:19 am
(446) Greg says:

We adopted a child in 2005, Iv’e been told if I had carry over credit I can claim that on my 2010 tax returns. However, in 2007, with new turbo tax software and computer, I failed to include the carryover credit, so my question is can I amend that now and refile or is that considered closed/too late?

November 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm
(447) William Perez says:

Greg, you should amend any previous returns to correct the carryover of the adoption credit. The IRS will refund any overpayments within the last three years.

November 26, 2011 at 9:02 am
(448) BJ says:

I am getting conflicting information. Are you saying if a taxpayer has carryover credit leftover from 2007 the IRS will refund that amount? Is the 2007 tax year now closed for the purpose of amending? Has anything changed since this the guidelines came out. Initially I read that a taxpayer who had any carryover from previous years could get the credit. But I have also heard that you can’t get the credit if it’s a closed year. Is the IRS making exceptions since the initial guidelines were murky in the beginning.

December 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm
(449) Mindy says:

If file for the adoption credit last year can you still file the following year? I was told that you can for five years. Is this true??

December 13, 2011 at 1:43 am
(450) William Perez says:

If you have new adoption-related expenses to report, then yes you can file for an additional credit in the following year. The five-year rule, however, is slightly different. It relates to how long an unused adoption credit can be carried forward. For 2010, the adoption credit is fully refunded, meaning there won’t be any unused portion to carry over to 2011.

January 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm
(451) Carol says:

We adopted 2 children from Ukraine, which was finalized in 2010. We were able to receive $13,170 for each -back on our 2010 return. Our adoption expenses were actually over $15k each – does that mean I should file for the remainder this year? OR – is $13,170 -maxed out- end of refund for us? I’m just confused about all “carry forward” talk.

January 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm
(452) Denise says:

I had two special needs boys placed with us in January 2011. The parental rights were terminated in August 2011 but the birth parent appealed and was denied. Adoption will be finalized probably end of February or March of 2012. Somewhere I read a comment that if adoption was initiated in 2011 that the amount of credit would still be refundable in 2012. Is that considered initiated if they are placed with you for adoption or does that mean the finalization papers have been filed with the court and just not approved yet? Thanks.

January 5, 2012 at 12:24 am
(453) William Perez says:

Denise, refer to the Instructions for Form 8839, especially the section regarding domestic adoptions not yet finalized.

January 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm
(454) Danette says:

I adopted our son in 2011 and we will not be finalized until April or May of 2012. Will this be a credit or a refund. when we do our 2012 taxes and if it is a credit is it a credit just for 2012 or does it carry over to following years as a balance.


January 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(455) linnie says:

we adopted 2 girl in 2010 and were told we didn’t get the credit becouse we did’nt owe any taxes is this true do we need to fill out a tax amendment

January 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm
(456) candice says:

We were placed with 2 special needs children July 2011. We have subsidy paperwork but will not finalize until next week, 1/12.
I called the IRS & was told as long as we had the subsidy agreement that they wouldn’t require the final decree. He said as long as it was not a foreign adoption & the children had a social security # it was fine that it wasn’t final yet.
I don’t feel too confident in his answer though as he seemed not to know very much. Does anyone know anything about this?

January 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm
(457) Sadie says:

hey i was seriously considering a special needs child. if i did this then would i get payed monthly for this adoption? For taking care of him/her? not taxes but monthly???

February 2, 2012 at 10:41 am
(458) janine says:

How does this fit with second-parent adoption? i am birth mom, but my wife has paid for all of our adoption costs in 2011. the adoption will be finalized in a couple months. Can she claim those adoption costs in 2011?

February 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm
(459) sonny kimmel says:

We adopted my son in 2003 and he is a special needs child. I have never heard of this tax credit until just the other day. I am able to get the tax credit of is it lost. Just filed my taxes and tax preparer failed to tell me about the tax credit.

February 9, 2012 at 2:11 am
(460) William Perez says:

Sonny, you might have been able to claim an adoption credit for 2003. But the deadline for seeking refunds for the year 2003 expired three years after the filing deadline, that is the 2003 refunds expired on April 15, 2007. Further, if the adoption credit for 2003 resulted in any of that credit being carried over, it could have been carried over up to a maximum of 5 years. Assuming the longest time frame for your situation, the last year for which you could possibly have claimed any part of your ’03 adoption credit would have been 2008 (the fifth year after 2003). The 3-year deadline to claim any refunds from the year 2008 is approaching on April 15, 2012. Thus it is theoretically possible for you to amend your 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 returns to see whether you have a carryover credit, and if so, how much of the carryover credit is for 2008, and then seek a refund of this additional amount from 2008. However, I’ve seen the IRS take the position that since a tax credit was not claimed on-time (within the 3-year period) for 2003, then the credit is disallowed for 2003 and the carryover amounts are likewise disallowed.

February 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm
(461) Elizabeth says:

Well, here I am, back 1 year later with another adoption, lol. Has anyone received their adoption credit and/or correspondence from the IRS for year 2011 yet? Wondering if we should expect the delays and red tape again?

February 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm
(462) Jodi says:

Did anyone that claimed the credit last year with just a future needs agreement? We have $0 subsidy and no Medicaid, but I have documentation from DHS stating they are “special needs” and could qualify for these things in the future. Our adoption decree states they had no special needs at the time of adoption but then refers to the future subsidy agreement which refers to them directly as special needs with specific documentation. I held off on filing the claim last year because it was so unclear, so hoping to learn from other’s experiences! Our adoption worker says we qualify, but our account isn’t 100% sure.

March 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm
(463) Amber says:

I have the same question as Jodi. We adopted our foster son and the adoption was final in 2011. We don’t receive a monthly subsidy but he did qualify for a medical subsidy for testing positive as birth for drugs. I don’t have anything that actually says “special needs” but it also says on the Michigan website (where we live)

“The Adoption Subsidy Program provides financial support subsidy and/or medical subsidy to encourage the placement of special needs children with adoptive families. Support subsidy assists with the payment of expenses related to caring for and raising the child. Medical subsidy assists with the costs of necessary treatment for a physical, mental, or emotional condition which existed, or the cause of which existed prior to the adoption.
The purpose of support and medical subsidies is to assist with the costs of caring for a child with special needs. An adoptive child may be eligible to receive a support subsidy or a medical subsidy or both. The subsidies are intended to help with the costs of raising the child. They are not intended to cover every expense.”

So I am wondering if we would qualify for the credit? I have NO CLUE who to even call to ask! I called the IRS, the NACAC, the person who deals with our post subsidy case/questions, the state subsidy supervisor, our adoption worker, and NO ONE can give me a straight answer.
So PLEASE, if anyone has received the credit with just a medical subsidy alone, let us know!!! I’m getting very frustrated!!!


March 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm
(464) Sam says:

We adopted our son in 2009 but the adoption was not finalized until December 13, 2010. It was a private adoption and our bill totalled almost $25,000. Our accountant failed to take the adoption credit on our 2010 taxes. Now I am getting ready to file for 2011.

My question is must I amend our 2010 tax returns with the IRS to claim this adoption credit or can I simply take the credit for 2011, showing it was completed in 2010? Thanks for your responses.

March 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm
(465) William Perez says:

Sam, an adoption completed in 2010 would be reported on your 2010 tax return. You should amend your 2010 federal return to claim the adoption tax credit.

March 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm
(466) Austin M says:


I was hoping someone could please help.
We adopted our daughter on Dec. 8, 2011 (she was born on Dec. 6, 2011). It will be finalized in a couple months. We incurred attroney fees in Dec 2011 and the homestudy fees, etc from last year.
We just filed our taxes today for 2011. We claimed the child credit with an ATIN because we don’t have an SS# yet, but our accountant said we would have to wait until next years taxes (2012) to claim any adoption expense credits because it isn’t finalized yet. Is he wrong? When it is finalized should we file an amended return?

Thank you

March 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm
(467) Austin M says:

After reading my own question, I believe that my accountant was correct. Since the adoption will be finalized in 2012, then the credit should be reported in the 2012 tax year, not with 2011.
Can anyone verify if I got this right???
I was just concerned about the refundable part expiring in 2011, but I guess it doesn’t apply to my case.

March 9, 2012 at 7:16 am
(468) Austin M says:

Now I am totally confused ….after reading post # 453 regarding form 8839 (section – Domestic adoptions not yet finalized). Now I believe I CAN amend my return for tax year 2011 and include the adoption credit for expenses. Anyone? Please help.

March 10, 2012 at 11:16 am
(469) mary says:

I adopted 5 children one in 2006 and 4 in 2008. I did get credit for 4 of the kids last year. Can i go back on my first and is this a one time credit or yearly.

March 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm
(470) Scott says:

My wife and I had a failed adoption in Nov.of 2011 but had $900 of expenses paid in 2010 and over $30,000 worth of expenses toward the failed adoption in 2011. Are we still qualified for the credit? What tax year do we claim it?

If we go foward with another adoption that will finalize in 2012, does that count as a whole seperate adoption?

Any help is appreciated.

March 14, 2012 at 2:13 am
(471) William Perez says:

You report this with the successful adoption and the failed adoption and the successful adoption count together as one adoption. See the instructions for Form 8839, especially the section on Attempted Adoptions.

March 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm
(472) april mcgee says:

I really need some help because I am running out of time…I adopted my half sisters son, my nephew at birth thru a private attorney here in florida. My half sister has a different last name than I do and we do not communicate whatsoever. My sons name was changed to reflect mine and my husbands name and we are now listed on his amended birth certificate as his parents….can we claim the adoption credit by amending our taxes? His adoption was final in 08 so I need to know soon in order to meet the cutoff..You can email me at april32220@hotmail.com or leave a comment on here as I will definitely be checking. Thanks.

April 4, 2012 at 11:57 am
(473) Sandi says:

Our adoption of a special needs child was finalized in 2011. We filed our federal taxes about a month ago and we put in for the adoption tax credit. We sent in all of the documents required for the tax credit. In addition to the tax credit, we had close to $5,000 coming back. My husband just called to say that our “regular” return of almost $5,000 was deposited in our bank account, but not the $13,000+ tax credit money.

Is it typical to receive the regular refund separate from the tax credit?

I was a little concerned because I’ve read from past posts that sometimes paperwork for the tax credit gets lost and the IRS doesn’t notify you of that, but rather waits for you to contact them.

April 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm
(474) William Perez says:

Sandi, it sounds to me like the IRS is issuing your “regular” refund first, and then will issue you the adoption credit later after verifying your information.

April 6, 2012 at 6:39 am
(475) Kathy says:

International adoption started in 2007 and finalized in 2010, got adoption tax refund for 2010 which is the refundable one, but my reciept is more than which govt refunds, so i am wondering does that mean i t will carry over over for 2011 and its refundable. Please help me with some answer.

April 9, 2012 at 1:35 am
(476) Jaime says:

We have $5285 left in carry over credit for the state of MO. We have adopted twice- first one finalized in 2005 and our last one finalized in 2007. We have no credit left for Federal.

We are using HR Block Online Deluxe and I see NO PLACE to enter carry over credit? I’ve called HR Block three times and no one can answer why?

Help Please!

April 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm
(477) DIANE says:

Can I receive the adoption credit if I filed Married filing seperately? Adoption was in 2005 and I had filed married filing seperately and then in 2008 began filing Head of Household. I have received partial credit for ameneding 2010 return but H & R Block advised I cannot receive credit for years filed Married filied seperate. I am amending my returns as we speak…does anyone know if this is how it works with the filing status? Thanks!

April 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm
(478) Norma J. Jackson says:

I have adopted five children: Two in 4/2007, One in 7/2008, one in 9/2009, and one in 1/1996. I filed for the adoption tax credit for the children I adopted in 2007 thru 2008 (three). I filed on February 17, 2012. Todate, I have not heard from IRS. What should I do. H&R Block filed these taxes for me. Am I not eligible.

July 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(479) Melissa says:

Amber -comment 463- What did you find out ? I am in the exact same situation.

August 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm
(480) tracesofchaos says:

I’ve read through all of the comments …carefully…and some gave me hope…some made me think maybe I misunderstood … maybe I’m wrong after all .. (sighs)… am so hopelessly confused …so please bear with me as am certain my question has been asked and answered a dozen times .but I am needing it spelled out for me appare tly.

My adoption of my grandson was finalized in october of 2009

Since I had no tax liability I didn’t claim any credits… in fact was told unless I actually OWE taxes I wasnt able to take any credits

My grandson was taken from his birthmother at birth so was in foster care for the fist 6 months and I do get the subsidy monthly stipend for him so he does qualify as being a special needs adoption.

I had a refund of approximately $7,000 in 2009

In 2010 I had a refund of approximately $5,000

in 2011 was approximately $5,000 again

Please can someone explain to me how do I claim the adoption tax credit for my 2009 taxes (which ill gladly ammend of course once i know how)… when none of it would be used as they owed me

Then how do I carry over that adoption credit to my 2010 taxes .. which again none would be used as they owed me

Finally how do I carry it over to my 2011 taxes .. which again I was owed a refund …but now if I understand what Ive read… I can also claim the full amount of the adoption credit …having rolled over for 3 years… but used none of ..as part of my 2011 expected refund amount … (not sure I worded that right)…

as far as I can see.. there isn’t a spot on the tax forms to claim a credit if you dont owe a tax liability ….

October 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm
(481) SG says:

Ok..so I foster my adoptive child since he was born on DEC 2010 and was able to claim him on my yearly taxes as a dependent. Adoption has been finalized on August 27 , 2012. So when I do my tax return for 2012 do I have to claim him as a dependent (foster child) from January 2012 to August 2012) with his old name and ss# and then add another line for his new name and ss# as my adopted son to be able to qualify for the adoption credit? Sorry I’m a bit confused.

January 3, 2013 at 3:40 am
(482) nelda abbott says:

I have read and read about this adoption credit and are still not sure if i am going to get it are not. I adopted two children it was final April the 12 2012. Do are can i file an amended return so that i can get this adoption credit refund are what can i do . Congress could have not done away with this credit me and these kids could sure use it please tell me what i need to do . And i didnt pay out of pocket CPS did they just gave the check to the lawyer. I have all documents showing that i adopted them and that they are consider special need kids have new B/C for both of them and new social security cards and numbers . Please email me and let me know what i can are cant do and Thanks.

January 6, 2013 at 3:53 am
(483) Lisa says:

Looking over my 2010 taxes we adoptid 1 child in 2009 and fostered 2 girls but when we had our taxes done we only got the 3,650.00 per child I think that is right for the foster children but shouldn’t we have gotten the adoption tax credit for the adoptid one at 12,150.00 even If we had no out of pocket adoption cost?

April 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm
(484) Lauren says:


We recently adopted a healthy baby girl in Feb 2012. Are any of our adoption expenses “refundable”? Or are they only tax credits now????

April 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm
(485) Lauren says:


We adopted a healthy baby in Feb 2012. Are any of our expenses refundable or are they only credits???

April 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm
(486) William Perez says:

Hi Lauren, thanks for asking your question. Updated information for 2012 can be found in the article on the adoption tax credit.

February 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm
(487) aleta says:

If you adopted a special needs child in 2012 and did not get the refundable tax credict what do you do about it.

February 18, 2014 at 11:36 pm
(488) Diane says:

I have a situation I cannot resolve by reading the IRS regs.

My client is divorced (a few years back), who had sole custody of her daughter. In order for her to move out of state from California she had to go to court to adopt her biological child – in order to have the biological dad relinquish all parental rights to the child.

I know one of the reasons a person cannot take the adoption credit is that they cannot adopt a child of their spouse.

Seeing how she files Head of Household, she has no spouse.
Can anyone tell me if she can take the credit or not?

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