- A nonrefundable tax credit:
- Any credit in excess of your tax liability may be carried forward for up to five years.
- There is an exclusion from income for an approved employer-provided adoption assistance program.
- Open or continue your return if it’s not already open.
- Search for adoption credit and select the Jump to link in the search results.
- On the Did you pay any adoption expenses in 2018 or earlier? or the Credit for Adoption Expenses screen, read the information and if you qualify, answer Yes.
- Continue with the onscreen interview until complete.
- Any child under the age of 18. If the child turned 18 during the year, the child is an eligible child for the part of the year they were under 18.
- Any disabled individual mentally or physically unable to take care of themselves.
- If you've adopted the child of your spouse, you can’t claim this credit.
- The credit is not usually available if you are Married Filing Separately.
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<h3 class="section-title">Who qualifies for the credit?</h3>
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Usually, the credit is permitted whether the adoption is domestic or foreign. But, the timing rules for claiming the credit for qualified adoption expenses are different, depending on the kind of adoption.
- A domestic adoption is the adoption of a U.S. child (an eligible child who is a citizen or resident of the U.S. or its possessions before the adoption begins). Qualified adoption expenses paid before the year the adoption becomes final are permitted as a credit for the tax year following the year of payment (even if the adoption is not finalized and even if an eligible child was never identified).
- A foreign adoption is the adoption of an eligible child who isn't yet a citizen or resident of the U.S. or its possessions before the adoption effort begins. Qualified adoption expenses paid before and during the year are permitted as a credit for the year when it becomes final.
- You have a carryforward of an adoption credit from 2017.
- You may receive less than the full amount if some of your adoption expenses are covered by an employer plan or your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is over $207,141 (and is phased out at $247,140) for 2018. </div>