“Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does.
So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's
when you find out who you are." - Joss Whedon

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Letter from Congressman Smith regarding The Making Adoption Affordable Act

Did you write your Congressman regarding The Making Adoption Affordable Act. H.R. 4373?? Sarah did and below is what Adam Smith had to say in response to her contact. 

December 21, 2012

Mrs. Sarah Rawls

Steilacoom, Washington 98388

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 4373, the Making Adoption Affordable Act. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue and I value this opportunity to respond.

I support adoption and making it easier for families to bring children into a safe and nurturing environment. I have been a long supporter of legislation that supports families that seek to adopt and creates a smooth transition and a promising future for adopted children.

As you may know, the federal government provides assistance for the adoption of children through federal grants to states and through tax expenditures for families. Although federal assistance programs for adoption focus primarily on children adopted out of Foster Care, federal adoption tax provisions are available for all adoptions (except for adoptions of stepchildren). 

Congress created federal tax assistance for adoption by enacting the Small Business and Job Protection Act of 1996. The Act added tax incentives for adoption to the existing federal adoption assistance grant programs by creating a tax credit and an income tax exclusion of up to $5,000 per adoption and $6,000 per adoption of a special needs child. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001 provided an increase in qualified expenses for the credit and the income tax exclusion to $10,000 (indexed for inflation), but with a sunset period. Beginning in 2011, the prior law limits of $5,000 and $6,000 became effective again unless extended in new legislation.

For tax years 2010 and 2011, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) made the adoption tax credit refundable. The Affordable Care Act also increased the qualified expenses for the adoption tax credit and the income tax exclusion for employer provided adoption assistance to $13,170 for tax year 2010, with this amount indexed for inflation in 2011.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 extended the EGTRRA provisions for adoption to tax year 2012. Unless EGTRRA is extended, prior tax exclusion limits of $5,000 and $6,000 will take effect beginning in tax year 2013.

The tax credit and the income tax exclusion significantly limit who may benefit from the tax provisions. Both provisions are subject to a phase-out rule, which creates an income cap, and puts in place a minimum income level on the use of the tax credit. These provisions limit the number of taxpayers who benefit from the credit. As a result, in tax year 2008, very few families with an adjusted gross income of less than $30,000, or with an adjusted gross income of $200,000 or more, claimed the credit. In tax year 2008, approximately 86,600 tax returns, or 06% of all tax returns, included a claim for the adoption tax credit, with a total credit value claimed of $353.5 million. 

Thank you for calling my attention to H.R. 4373, The Making Adoption Affordable Act. H.R. 4373 was introduced by Representative Bruce Braley on April 7, 2012. This legislation seeks to support families that wish to adopt by providing tax credit for adoption expenses increasing exclusion from gross income for amounts paid by an employer for adoption expenses that were enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. H.R. 4373 is currently pending with the House Committee on Ways and Means.

I look forward to reviewing this legislation. Should this or any other bill concerning adoption come to the House floor for consideration, please be assured I will keep your support in mind. Please feel free to contact me at any time should you have further questions or concerns on this or any other issue.


Adam Smith
Member of Congress

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