How's that for a controversial blog title.
Actually, I'm really not all that excited about the new health care bill.
And it is a big but.
Politics aside, I am excited because a provision was made that extended the adoption tax credit through 2011, increased the amount, and made it refundable! Previously the tax credit only lowered your tax amount due, but didn't necessarily give any refund money back. That is a big change for families like us, with modest incomes, who after exemptions and such don't actually pay out a lot of taxes at tax time, so the old tax credit really wouldn't have been much of a benefit to us.
Here's an article I found about it that explains it well:
Amidst the intense controversy of the health care bill signed into law by President Obama last week, there’s at least one provision every orphan advocate can cheer. The adoption tax credit was preserved for another year…and increased in value!
To encourage and support adoption, the adoption tax credit was expanded by President Bush and Congress in 2001. This increased the value of the credit from $5,000 to $10,000, and indexed it for inflation (meaning the credit would increase each year to keep up with inflation.) For 2010, its value had risen to $12,170. However, the 2001 increase was scheduled to “sunset” at the end of 2010. This would mean that any adoptions finalized after December 31, 2010 would be eligible for—at most—a credit of only $5,000.
This sunset has now been extended one year. That means that it will need to be extended again before the end of 2011. For the present, however, this extension comes as very welcome news for families considering adoption or in the adoption process.
Specifically, the provisions contained in the health care bill include:
- The current adoption tax credit has been extended until the end of 2011;
- The value of the adoption tax credit has been increased from $12,170 to $13,170.
- The increase is “retroactive,” meaning that any adoption occurring after January 1, 2010 is eligible for this higher credit.
- The credit is now refundable. This means that even families that owe zero taxes can receive the full tax credit in the form of a tax refund to help with their adoption-related expenses.
To read the legalese in the bill itself, see page 903 of 906 here.