Child adoption costs credit Credit code 197

Overview

If you adopted a child in California you can claim a credit for 50% of the cost.

The child must have been both of the following:

  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • In the custody of a California agency or political subdivision

Check if you qualify

You may qualify if you spent money on:

  • Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency fees
  • Medical costs not covered by insurance
  • Travel expenses

You can also include costs that you incurred in an unsuccessful adoption attempt that was later successful, even with a different child.

What you'll get

The most you can claim is $2,500 per child in a tax year. If your costs were more, carry over the extra credit to future years until the credit is used.

How to claim

File your income tax return. To estimate your credit amount:

540 Form

Use California Resident Income Tax Return (Form 540).

  1. Take the qualifying costs for the child
  2. Multiply the cost by 50% to get your credit amount
  3. Do not enter more than $2,500 on line 43 or 44

Visit Credit for Child Adoption Costs under Special Credits and Nonrefundable Credits for more information.

540NR Long Form

Use California Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return (Long Form 540NR).

  1. Take the qualifying costs for the child
  2. Multiply the cost by 50% to get your credit amount
  3. Do not enter more than $2,500 on line 58 or 59

Visit Credit for Child Adoption Costs under Special Credits and Nonrefundable Credits for more information.