Adoption Tax Credit 2021 Calculator

Ready-T-Use Adoption Tax Credit 2022 Calculator

Download the Adoption Tax Credit 2022 Calculator in Excel, OpenOffice Calc, and Google Sheets to easily calculate the eligible adoption tax credit.

This template allows you to sum up all the expenses you have made during the year of finalization of adoption and calculate the claimable credit amount for 2022.

Additionally, this article consists of complete information for Adoption Tax Credit 2022. It includes eligibility criteria, credit amount, income/dollar limitations, MAGI phaseout limit, eligible expenses, and time rules.

What is Adoption Tax Credit?

As per the IRS,

The IRS provides a tax credit for qualified adoption expenditures paid to adopt an eligible child, as well as an income exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. The credit is nonrefundable, which means it is only good for the amount of tax you owe for the year. Any credit that exceeds your tax due, on the other hand, can be carried forward for up to five years.

A taxpayer can only claim eligible costs that have been approved by the IRS. Adopting an is a difficult task. It is frequently a tough and costly procedure. This credit is a blessing for parents who want to adopt a kid. It contributes to lowering the financial burden of adopting a kid.

Types of Adoption

There are 2 types of adoptions: Domestic and Foreign. Let us understand each in detail.

Domestic Adoption

Domestic adoption refers to the adoption of an eligible child who is a citizen or resident of the United States or one of its territories before the adoption process begins.

Foreign Adoption

Foreign adoption is the adoption of an eligible child who is not yet a citizen or resident of the United States or its territories at the time the adoption process begins.

Qualified Adoption Expenses

As per section 23(d)(1) of the IRS Code, qualified adoption expenses for the tax credit and the exclusion from income, are as follows:

  • Reasonable and necessary adoption fees,
  • Court costs and attorney fees,
  • Traveling expenses (including amounts spent for meals and lodging while away from home), and
  • Other expenses that are directly related to and for the principal purpose of the legal adoption of an eligible child.


Even if an expenditure is paid before an eligible kid has been discovered, it may be a qualifying adoption expense.

For example, if prospective adoptive parents pay for a home study at the start of an adoption process can deduct the expenses as qualifying adoption expenses.

Moreover, qualified adoption costs can also include expenses paid by a registered domestic partner who resides in a state that permits a same-sex parent or co-parent to adopt his or her spouse’s kid as long as the costs qualify for the credit.

Eligible Child

For Adoption Tax Credit, Child eligibility is that he/she should be below 18 years. But there are two types of child categories: Normal Child and Child with special needs.

Normal Child

A normal child must be under the age of 18 or is physically or mentally incapable of self-care. The child can be either a U.S. citizen or resident (including U.S. territories) or a non-US citizen when the adoption process starts.

Child With Special Needs

The child with special needs can be a U.S. citizen or resident or a non-US citizen when the adoption process starts.

Moreover, any child cannot be deemed as a special child. Only kids that the state deems cannot or should not be returned to their parent’s homes.

Furthermore, a child for whom the state has determined that he or she is unlikely to be adoptable without the aid of the adopting parent.

Filing Status

For the Adopter Couple, the Filing Status in current and previous Federal Tax returns should be Married Filing Jointly.

Moreover, if the couple has filed a tax return with the filing status Married Filing Separately they need to file an amended return for the previous year with the filing status Married filing jointly.

Furthermore, there is an exception for couples filing a return separately. They can claim only if all the following conditions apply:

  • Statements (2) and (3) under Who Can Take the Adoption Credit or Exclude Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits are true.
  • You lived apart from your spouse during the last 6 months of the adoption year.
  • The eligible child lived in your home for more than half of the adoption year.
  • You provided for over half the cost of keeping up your home.



A couple pays adoption expenses of $3,000 in 2018, $5,000 in 2019, and $6,000 in 2020. If the domestic adoption becomes final in 2020.

As the couple might have already filed a tax return for 2018 and 2019 with filing status as Married Filing Separately. As per the law, in 2020 they need to file the Federal Income Tax Return with status married filing jointly.

They will be eligible to claim only $11,000. Adoption expenses were $5,000 in 2019 and $6,000 in 2020. Hence, as they previously filed separately in 2019, the $3,000 amount paid in 2018 is not claimable.

Adoption Tax Credit 2022

The Adoption Tax Credit for the year 2021 is $14,890.

For a normal qualifying child, you can claim up to $ 14,8900 in actually spent qualified costs. You can claim these costs in the year after the expense year, and the MAGI limit applies. For instance, funds spent in 2021 can be claimed in 2022.

Adopting a qualifying special needs child, the couple can claim the maximum credit of $14,890 in the year of completion even if the actual expenses are less. In simple terms, you can claim the full amount of $14,890 even if the expenses made are less.

MAGI Phaseout Limits

The credit and exclusion are both subject to income and dollar limitations. The adoption credit or exclusion income limit depends on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). The MAGI phaseout begins at $ 223,410 and ends at $263,410 for the tax year 2022.

Thus, if your MAGI amount for 2022 is less than $223,410, you can avail of full credit. Moreover,  there will be no effect on your exclusion of employer-reimbursed adoption amount from your taxable income. However, if your MAGI amount for 2022 is $263,410 or more, your credit or exclusion will be zero.

The amount of qualifying adoption expenditures paid and claimed in prior years for the same adoption efforts can be deducted from the dollar limit for that year. For 2022, it is $14,890.

Timing Rules for Adoption Tax Credit

The tax year for which you can claim the credit depends on the following:

  • When the expenses are paid;
  • Whether it’s a domestic adoption or a foreign adoption; and
  • When, if ever, the adoption was finalized.

Generally, the credit is allowable whether the adoption is domestic or foreign. However, the timing rules for claiming the credit for qualified adoption expenses differ, depending on the type of adoption.

Qualified adoption costs paid before the year of finalization of the adoption can be deducted in the tax year following the year of payment, even if the adoption never finalizes or an eligible child is not identified.

On the contrary, qualified adoption expenditures paid before and throughout the year are deductible only in the year in which the adoption is finalized.

In short, qualified adoption expenses allowable in the current year may include expenses paid in a former year or years.


Download the Adoption Tax Credit 2022 Calculator (Excel, OpenOffice Calc & Google Sheets)

Adoption Tax Credit 2021 Calculator

We have created a simple and easy-to-use Adoption Tax Credit 2021 Calculator with predefined formulas and functions. Just insert the applicable amounts and it will calculate the claimable credit for the year 2021.

Download by clicking below on the desired format:

Microsoft Excel OpenOffice Calc Google Sheet

Additionally, you can also download Federal Income Tax templates like Adjusted Gross Income Calculator 2021, Itemized Deduction Calculator 2021, Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator, Employee Retention Credit Calculator 2021, Paycheck Calculator, and IRS Compliant Mileage Log Template.

Furthermore, feel free to contact us for the customization of this template as per your requirement. We also design new templates based on your needs. You can hire us for our services on Fiverr or directly contact us at

How To Use Adoption Tax-Credit Calculator?

We have designed the Adoption Tax Credit 2021 Calculator for 4 different types of adoptions:

  1. Domestic Adoption of Normal Child.
  2. Domestic Adoption of Children with special needs.
  3. Foreign Adoption of Normal Child.
  4. Foreign Adoption of Child with special needs.

This template consists of 3 sections: Eligibility Section, Adoption Expenses Calculations, and Adoption Tax Credit Calculations.

Let us understand each section in detail.

Eligibility Section

Adoption Tax Credit Calculator

The eligibility Section consists of the following:

Modified Adjusted Gross Income(MAGI) 2021
MAGI Phaseout Start
MAGI Phaseout End

Insert the Modified Adjusted Gross Income(MAGI) for the year 2021. If you don’t have the MAGI figures, you can use our MAGI Calculator 2021 to calculate your Modified Adjusted Gross Income.

In case your MAGI is below or between the limits then the template displays “Yes” otherwise “No”. If it is “Yes” then you can proceed to further calculations. But if it is “No” then you are not eligible for the Adoption Tax Credit.

Adoption Expense Calculations

Adoption Tax Credit Calculator

Based on the rules above for Eligible Expenses, the Adoption Expenses Calculation Section consists of the following heads for all four types of adoption. Insert data in the one that applies to you.

Year in Which Adoption Was Finalized
Adoption Tax Credit 2021
Child’s Age In the Year Adoption is Finalized
Adoption Expenses Paid To Adoption Agency, Individual Adoption, Birth Mother Expenses
Court Expenses
Attorney Expenses
Traveling Expenses For Adoption Purpose (meals, lodging, and other expenses while away from home)
Advertising and Networking Expenses For Adoption
Other Expenses
Total Adoption Expenses

Insert the applicable expenses and the template displays the total adoption expenses. Check out the qualifying adoption expenses section given above.

Adoption Tax Credit Calculator

Adoption Tax Credit Calculator

This section consists of the following heads:

Total Adoption Expenses
Eligible Adoption Expenses
Adoption Expenses Claimed In Previous Tax Returns
Claimable Adoption Tax Credit 2021
Deduct Adoption Expenses Reimbursed by Employer from your income

Based on the rules you can claim up to $14,440 for a domestic normal child. For Special needs children, you can claim the full amount even if the actual expenses are less.

The template consists of predefined formulas that automatically fetch the eligible Adoption expenses. Moreover, if you have received any adoption tax credit in previous years you need to insert the amount. The final claimable amount will be the difference between the eligible amount and the previously received credit.

In case, you have received reimbursement for Adoption Expenses from your employer, insert it here and you can decrease your taxable income by that amount.

Frequently Asked Question

How to claim adoption expenses?

You can claim adoption expenses by filing Form 8839. See the image below:

Form 8839

Click on the link below to download the form to claim adoption expenses:

IRS Form 8839 – Qualified Adoption Expenses

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Disclaimer: This article is for information and educational purpose. Information provided here shall not be treated as tax advice. Kindly consult a tax expert before filing your tax return.