The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, of which American Adoptions is a member, has set a goal of obtaining 30 Co-Sponsors on the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) Refundability Bills: S. 1056 and H.R. 2144 in 100 days. Already in the last week, outreach efforts have secured two new cosponsors!
Why the urgency?
Tax discussions are underway in the United States House and Senate, and we need to keep the adoption tax credit top-of-mind with legislators and staff. The best way to do that is to demonstrate to legislators that their constituents care about this issue.
Additionally, because refundability was not included in the bill that made the Credit permanent, many adoptive families are still not able to receive this critical support, a fact which some Members of Congress may not yet be aware.
Cosponsorship of the refundability bills is the best way for Members to show their willingness to help protect the adoption tax credit!
Congressman Camp’s tax reform proposal that eliminates the adoption tax credit makes your outreach that much more critical. While his particular proposal may never go anywhere, it has now become the basis from which tax reform discussions will begin. We need to ensure that we have vocal Members of Congress who will fight on behalf of the adoption tax credit and ensure its protection. And the best way to get Members engaged is by hearing from constituents about the importance of an issue. Don’t let the adoption tax credit be threatened by a lack of vocal outreach from families like yours.
What is “tax reform” and how does it relate to the adoption tax credit?
For the past several years, key Members of Congress have been calling for the U.S. tax code to be reformed and simplified. If tax reform occurs, ALL existing tax credits or policies, including the now permanent adoption tax credit, would be subject to review, so there is always a chance that it could be changed or eliminated. The House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees (the two committees with jurisdiction over tax policy) have begun their review of the U.S. tax code and have signaled their interest in continuing to determine which of the existing credits should be eliminated.
In order to ensure that the adoption tax credit not only remains a permanent part of the code, but is also amended to add back in refundability in order to serve the needs of all children in need of adoption, Members of Congress need to be educated about how this credit is affecting you and your family. To learn more about tax reform, go to waysandmeans.house.gov/ or www.finance.senate.gov.
Why is a refundable credit important and how do the bills relate to the overall goal of protecting the credit?
In 2012, Congress took a huge step forward in making the adoption tax credit a permanent part of the code, but failed to include the refundability provisions that would have ensured it benefitted all children in need of permanent homes. In response, Senators Casey, Blunt and Landrieu, and Congressmen Bruce Braley and Rob Wittman introduced S.1056 and H.R.2144 to make the credit refundable and ensure that all families are able to benefit from the credit regardless of income.
Some families will never be able to adopt without the benefit of the adoption tax credit. Others will still adopt, but won’t benefit at all from the tax credit, which means they may face challenges in meeting their children’s needs. The reason for this inequity is simple: A non-refundable tax credit is useless to families who have limited or no tax liability. If we increase low- and moderate-income families’ access to the credit, we make adoption possible for more waiting children.
Right now, the best way for Members of Congress to show their support for the Adoption Tax Credit and the thousands of families that it helps is by cosponsoring these refundability bills. It is the ultimate show of support for the credit and will help in building vocal champions who will fight for its protection through tax reform.
What’s the call to action?
Get educated on the ATC by visiting our website, reading our FAQ section, and liking us on Facebook for frequent updates: http://www.adoptiontaxcredit.org. Please also spread the word with your friends and family who would want to join in the fight to protect the adoption tax credit.
Then engage with your Members of Congress via social media. Find their Twitter and Facebook accounts and follow them. Use social media as another outlet to connect with your Members and ask for their support cosponsoring the refundability bills and protecting the Adoption Tax Credit (make sure to reference the bill numbers S.1056 and H.R.2144). The more your Members hear from you, the better. If they are already a bill co-sponsor, thank them (template here) for their dedication to adoption issues and use social media to let others in your community know of their support.