Deductions demand documentation
Midyear tax tip #1: Welcome summer with energy-related tax breaks

Happy Father's Day 2010

Being a father has changed a lot since the days my dad was expected mainly to just bring home a paycheck. All the day-to-day parenting duties back then were left to mom, who occasionally had to utter that ominous phrase, "Wait until your dad gets home."

Of course, I knew that was an idle threat. Dad was really a softy.

And although the times were different, he contributed in his own valuable (and quiet) way to our upbringing.

Dad's no longer around for me to send a special card each third Sunday in June, but I hope he knows he's still loved and remembered. And not just on this day.

It's in his honor that I wish the happiest of days to all the dads!

Adoption tax break enhanced: As this annual holiday approached, I noticed a lot of news outlets ran stories on the tax benefits of adopting children.

I recommend a couple of nice articles: A look by The Oklahoman at employer-provided benefits for adoptive parents and Minnesota Public Radio's more tax-specific examination of the topic.

The favorable U.S. Tax Code treatment of adoptions has been a wonderful tax break for years, but the current tax break was scheduled to drop to much lower benefit levels when Jan. 1, 2011, rolled around.

If you're in the midst of or thinking about adopting, don't panic.

As part of the health care reform law, that expiration date has been extended for another year.Even better, the tax adoption tax credit has been expanded.

Best of all, the new, more generous provisions were made retroactive to the 2010 tax year. That means the that potential 2010 credit amount is now $13,150.

And there's more. The adoption tax credit now is refundable, meaning eligible adoptive parents could get a tax refund even if they don't owe the IRS a cent.

The one small smudge on this otherwise nice tax credit picture is that all these breaks will expire at the end of 2011 unless Congress acts to extend them. I expect that will happen.

And I wouldn't be surprised if the tax break is, as some on Capitol Hill are calling for, made permanent next year.

That would be a great Father's Day (and mom's day, too) gift to prospective parents in the process of adopting. Then they wouldn't have to worry about the tax benefit disappearing before their new sons or daughters are officially part of their families.

Related posts/stories:

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