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Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
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I adopted my son in 2007. I was able to use part of the adoption

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I adopted my son in 2007. I was able to use part of the adoption tax credit for my 2007 tax year. Now my son is eighteen and I have credit left over. Am I still allowed to use the other part of this credit? Because he was adopted through a state agency as a hard to place child, he is considered a special needs adoption.

Any adoption credit in excess of your tax liability can be carried forward to the next tax year. Excess adoption credits can be carried-forward for five years and is used up on a first-in, first-out basis. The credit can be claimed as long as the child was age 17 or younger in the year he was adopted.

The IRS provides a Credit Carryforward Worksheet in the Instructions for Form 8839.

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Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay, I undestand and have skimmed over the Instructions for 8839 but my challenge is that I received the credit based on his special needs not on actual expensed. I am usting turbo tax and it tells me that he is no longer an eligble child because he is now 18. I am not clear on whether or not he is still an eligble chilld because he is 18. The instructions are not clear. It means a difference of at least 3500 in my return so I would like to have a good idea when I file. I do not want to owe the IRS money later on.
Hello againCustomer

Was the reason you did not use the entire credit in 2007 due to your modified adjusted gross income being over the limit?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
no. It was because my deductions exceeded the amount of taxes that I paid during the year.

I am going to put this question back on the open board to see if there is another tax person who has more experience with this particular credit.

Hopefully you will have an answer soon.

Dear MD Webb,


I have been asked to take a look at this question.


Can you tell me this.


On what date did your son become adopted? (month and year please).


Please verify that you are taking the credits for money actually spent?


On what month and year did your son turn age 18?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.



My son was adopted in March 2007.

I am not taking credits from money actually spent (received the credit based on him being a special needs adoption. I am under the impression that I should be able to use my carry over credit.)


He turned 18 during May of 2008.


Thank you in advance.


God Bless



Thank you for getting back to me. I am just about ready to provide the answer. I appreciate your patience.


do you spend an dincur any adoption expenses in 2007?


Do I assume corretly that this adoption was final in 2007?


AND is your child handicapped in anyway and to what extent?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The adoption was final in 2007.

I did not have to incur any expenses because he was a special needs adoption. I received the credit only because he was special needs, not because of actual expenses.


He is not handicapped.



Based on the information provided. As long as this adoption was final before the year in which he bacame age 18, and your credit does not include adoption expenses or new credits accrued in 2008, (the year in which he became age 18),


AND the non-allowed credits were due to modified adjusted gross income phase out, then you can still carry forward the credits.


I understand the pubs on this are confusing. BUT they are based on when you accrue the expenses or are first entiteled to the credit.




Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience: GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
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