Members of Congress only act on an issue when they believe it has a real impact on their constituents. It is especially important now that the credit is under threat that your Members of Congress understand how important the adoption tax credit is to you and your family. The more you reach out to them and tell your story, the better.
The legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on January 2, 2013) included a provision that made the adoption tax credit permanent. While this was a huge victory, “permanent” only means that it does not have a set expiration date. It does not mean that the credit is safe from elimination – especially in the context of the tax reform discussions Congress is undertaking. Proponents of eliminating the adoption tax credit cite the money that will be saved if the credit is removed. Our voices about the positive impact of the credit need to drown out this opposition.
Furthermore, the fiscal cliff bill did not make the adoption tax credit refundable, so it only benefits those adoptive families who have federal income tax liability. The refundability bills in the U.S. House and Senate (H.R. 2144/S.1056) would make the credit refundable and ensure that all families can benefit from the credit. Right now co-sponsorship of these bills is the best way for Members of Congress to show their support for adoption and the tax credit.
Continue to engage with your Members of Congress by calling each of their offices to talk about the importance of the adoption tax credit. Use their websites to locate the phones numbers for their Washington, D.C. offices. When you reach the staff member who handles the tax or child welfare portfolio in the office, explain why the credit is important to your family and ask the Member to co-sponsor the refundability bills (H.R. 2144/S.1056) and make protection of the credit a priority.