7 Tips for Choosing an Adoption Tax Professional

Sure, knowledge and experience are good, but will he or she have what it really takes?

Jennifer Galan January 04, 2016
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The end of 2015 is almost here, and for those of us in the US it means . . . time to start thinking about taxes.

For many of us in the adoption community, we have a new dependent to claim, and we get to use that new adoption credit! Now, choosing a tax professional is pretty straight forward: You want a person with up-to-date skills, accreditation from an actual college or university, and ties to a tax firm that will represent you if you get audited.

For those of you with an adoption-related tax situation, though, you may want to dig a little deeper when hiring your CPA in 2016, and with that in mind, here are some questions to ask your tax professional

How does he feel about seeing approximately thirty-seven hundred pictures of your newest addition? Does he love the idea? Because you are GOING to show him those pictures and if he starts to stifle yawns or asks how this is related to your expenses, he might get stabbed by the proud father.

Does she use the correct language when referring to your child’s birth parents? If your CPA says “your baby is SO lucky to have been saved by you two!” FIRE HER IMMEDIATELY. She should not touch any forms and paperwork that have been in the presence of your precious miracle. If, on the other hand, she says “I am so impressed by the way you go out and include those parents at every opportunity! What a lucky child to have all the parents and all the family from every side in his life!” Keep her. She will probably be able to get those thirty-seven hundred pictures written off as a deductible.

Does your CPA have sanitized toys in his office? This is a big one—you are broke. You just adopted a child and have zero dollars left for babysitters. You need a child-friendly office for crying about your brokenness and taxes. Daddy shouldn’t have to stifle his sobs because Junior is breaking an expensive urn in the corner.

How much hounding for forms and receipts does she do via text? You are going to want to communicate on the telephone as little as possible. Precious Snowflake does NOT like it when Mommy talks to another adult. Ever.

What is your CPA’s position on nursing in his office? It doesn’t matter if you actually ARE going to nurse your child, you want a progressive viewpoint on this so that you can report back to the parenting forums and get the breast-Nazis off of your back. Trust me on this one.

Does your CPA have extra pens? You will have none. I promise. Even if you just adopted that newborn yesterday, your pens have all disappeared by today. Same with stamps, nail clippers, and every tube of chapstick you have ever owned. (Bonus points if your CPA has promotional chapstick tubes to hand you.)

Finally, and most importantly, will your CPA mail or electronically submit your taxes for you? You will never be able to make it to the post office on time again. It doesn’t matter that you have four months to get there. It doesn’t matter if you have four years. It doesn’t matter if you have spent the last four years mailing dossiers to foreign agencies and submitting background checks overnight mail. You are a parent now. You will never make it to the post office on time again.

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Jennifer Galan

Jennifer Galan mothers four kids (one adopted, three biological) all while living the nomadic life of a military wife. She is a strong advocate for open adoptions, education reform, feminism, kindness, and naps. Mostly naps. Her favorite Doctor is number ten, and she is a proud Ravenclaw.


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