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How do I know if a child qualifies for the Adoption Credit?

You may be eligible for the adoption credit if you had qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. An eligible child is a child who is under 18 years of age or is physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves. There are different rules to claim the credit, depending on the type of adoption.

A domestic adoption is the adoption of an eligible child who is already a citizen or resident of the U.S. or its possessions before the adoption effort begins. Expenses can qualify for the adoption credit whether the adoption is finalized or not. Though, qualified adoption expenses paid before the year the adoption becomes final are allowable as a credit for the tax year following the year of payment.

A foreign, or international, adoption is the adoption of an eligible child who is not yet a citizen or resident of the U.S. or its possessions before the adoption effort begins. If you are adopting a foreign child, the adoption credit may only be taken if the adoption is finalized. In addition, qualified adoption expenses paid before and during the year are allowable as a credit for the year when it becomes final.

Once an adoption becomes final, and subject to the dollar limitation, qualified adoption expenses paid during or after the year of finality are allowable as a credit for the year of payment, whether the adoption is foreign or domestic.

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