Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Expanded Adoption Credit

Seven Facts about the Expanded Adoption Credit

IRS Tax Tip 2011-34

You may be able to take a tax credit of up to $13,170 for qualified expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. The Affordable Care Act increased the amount of the credit and made it refundable, which means it can increase the amount of your refund.

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about the expanded adoption credit.

1. Beginning in tax year 2010 the credit is refundable, meaning that you can get it even if you owe no tax.

2. For tax year 2010 you must file a paper tax return and Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, to get the credit and you must attach documents supporting the adoption.

3. Documents may include a final adoption decree, placement agreement from an authorized agency, court documents and the state’s determination for special needs children.

4. Qualified adoption expenses are reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the legal adoption of the child. These expenses may include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and travel expenses.

5. An eligible child must be under 18 years old, or physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself.

6. If your modified adjusted gross income is more than $182,520, your credit is reduced. If your modified AGI is $222,520 or more, you cannot take the credit.

7. Taxpayers claiming the credit will still be able to use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed and mailed to the IRS, along with all required documentation.

For more information see the Adoption Benefits FAQ page available at http://www.irs.gov or the instructions to IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, which can be downloaded from the website or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).


Form 8839 ( PDF)
Instructions for Form 8839 ( PDF)
Adoption Benefits FAQs

Hints For Divorcing Parents



Jeanine Wade, Ph.D.
1. Decide with your spouse the best way to inform your children of why you are divorcing and tell them together if possible. Try to let them know what to expect in straightforward and realistic terms. Answer any questions simply and directly. It is not necessary to give them more information than requested. If they ask embarrassing or inappropriate questions, let them know and refuse to answer.

2. Let them know you both will always be their parents and you will always love them. Don't be long distance parents, physically or emotionally. If you must live in another town, stay in touch with frequent letters and telephone calls. Make sure your child has your address and telephone number so they will always have easy access to you.

3. Show your love in actions, not just words. Don't make promises you cannot keep. Promises not kept are worse than not making plans at all. Don't attempt to substitute your love with money or gifts. Kids know when they are being bought off.

4. Remember birthdays, holidays and all other important events. These times are important to children and indicate to them that you are there and that you care. It may be difficult to remember these dates in your busy life, so use a calendar and mark them down.

5. Don't badmouth your spouse, or anyone else in your family. Hold children to this rule as well. Children will not love you more if you attempt to make your spouse the bad guy in their eyes. This only makes it difficult for them, and at some point they will more than likely resent you for your attacks. Children need to feel it is okay to love both parents without making anyone unhappy.

6. When you are angry with one another, do not take it out on the children. For example, "You are just like your father....your mother..."

7. Don't compete for your children's love and time. They need and want to have a healthy relationship with both of their parents. The more you work for this, the better adjusted they will be.

8. Do not put your children in the middle. Do not make your children the mediators for you and your spouse. Put your feelings aside for the sake of your children and handle in an adult fashion all practical matters that must be decided directly with your spouse.

9. Expect that your children may have sad, angry, depressed feelings following the divorce and allow them to tell these feelings to you without criticism. Just being able to talk about what they are feeling will go a long way in helping your child adjust to the changes in his/her life.

10.Accept that your marriage is over and proceed with your own life. Don't try to obtain information about your ex-spouse's private life through your children. The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to move ahead with your life and find happiness in a new relationship.

P.S. Don't forget to take some time for yourself to rest and heal during this stressful period in your life.

Don't Go To Divorce Court Without Reading This

Is mental well being of step-parents considered in custody issues? - Avvo.com

Is mental well being of step-parents considered in custody issues? - Avvo.com