The ATC should be included in any comprehensive reform of the tax code. Members of Congress who are working on tax reform indicated that for a provision of the tax code to remain in place it should do one or all of the following three things: 1) grow the economy, 2) make the tax code fairer, and, 3) effectively promote an important policy objective. A refundable adoption tax credit does all three things.
Highlighted FAQ: How does the adoption tax credit benefit meet the stated goals of tax reform?
• The ATC Saves Money: A 2006 study cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau found that “approximately $65,422 to $126,825 is saved for every child who is adopted rather than placed in long-term foster care.” These savings occur even if the adoptive families receive government support. Some savings accrue from the reduced need for direct child welfare services—foster care and court oversight are no longer required.
• A Refundable Credit Helps All Children Find Families: Without an adoption tax credit, some families may not be able to adopt a child from foster care. Nationally, nearly half (46 percent) of families adopting from foster care are at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. One-third of all adopted children live in families with annual household incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, meaning many do not have a tax liability and cannot use a non-refundable tax credit.
Call to Action: Tax Staffer Outreach
In honor of tax day, use talking points from the ATC Tax Reform Letter to make sure your Members of Congress are aware of how important the adoption tax credit really is and how it fits within the three goals outlined above. Rather than reaching out again generally, try to reach the staff member in each office who handles tax issues. Call the offices of your Members of Congress, explain that you are a constituent and ask for the name of the staff member who works on tax issues. Leave a voicemail and/or send an email to that person. Make sure you tell your story and talk about the importance of the credit to your family.
If you can, also reach out to Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee to be sure they are also aware of these important facts.