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J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2013: For Preparing Your 2012 Tax Return by J.K. Lasser Institute

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25.14 Claiming the Adoption Credit on Form 8839

The fact that you paid qualified adoption expenses during 2012 does not mean that you can claim a credit for those costs on your 2012 return. A 2012 credit is not allowed for 2012 expenses unless the adoption was finalized by the end of the year. Under the credit timing rules discussed below, you may claim a 2012 credit for expenses incurred in 2011 if the eligible child was a U.S. citizen or resident when the adoption effort began. If the child was not a U.S. citizen or resident when the adoption effort began, a credit is not allowed until the year the adoption is finalized even if you incurred expenses in one or more previous years.

If a credit is allowed for 2012, figure it on Form 8839 and attach the form to your Form 1040. You must enter an identification number for the child on Form 8839. Generally this is a Social Security number (SSN), but if you are in the process of adopting a child who is U.S. citizen or resident and you cannot get an SSN for the child before you file your return, you should apply for an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) on IRS Form W-7A. If the child is not eligible for an SSN, apply for an individual identification number (ITIN) on Form W-7.

Because of the documentation (see below) that must be attached to Form 8839, you cannot e-file your 2012 return if you claim the adoption credit; you must file a paper return.

When to claim the adoption credit for a child who is a U.S. citizen or resident ...

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