News of Note: Was The IRS Mass Audit of Adoptive Parents In 2011 A Result of Targeting Evangelical Christians and Conservatives Who Filed for Adoption Credit?

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Did the IRS target evangelicals and conservative parents filing for adoption credit?

“Nearly 70 percent of adoption credit claims were audited by IRS, report finds” – Fox News reports that IRS did mass audit of adoptive families in 2011. (Fox News)

“The Adoption Tax Credit was created by Congress in 1996 to encourage adoption and to help offset costs to low- and middle-income families, which are estimated to run as high as $40,000. At the time, lawmakers touted the promotion of adoption as “one of the most important things” to strengthen American families. But IRS officials selected 69 percent of returns claiming the credit in the 2012 filing season for audit, compared to just 1 percent of all tax returns. The payoff, however, was relatively small, the report found. “Of the $668.1 million in adoption credit claims in tax year 2011 as a result of adoption credit audits, the IRS only disallowed $11 million — or one and one-half percent — in adoption credit claims,” the report continued. “However, the IRS has also had to pay out $2.1 million in interest in TY 2011 to taxpayers whose refunds were held past the 45-day period allowed by law.” – Joshua Rhett Miller

“IRS Morality: Defend Planned Parenthood, Deluge Adoptive Families with Audits” – IRS deluge adoptive families with audits. (National Review)

“So Congress implemented a tax credit to facilitate adoption – a process that is so extraordinarily expensive that it is out of reach for many middle-class families — and the IRS responded by implementing an audit campaign that delayed much-needed tax refunds to the very families that needed them the most. Oh, and the return on its investment in this harassment? Slightly more than 1 percent.” – David French

“The Adoption Audits: No Rational Justification” – Why did the IRS audit 69% adoptive parents who filed for adoption credit in 2011? (National Review)

“Is the Left Launching an Attack on Evangelical Adoption?” – David French’s April 2013 response to a Salon article (Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession attacking the Christian adoption movement). (National Review)

“At any rate, these critics (attacking the Christian adoption movement) get it dead wrong: The Christian community at large isn’t just trying to adopt individuals (we certainly know that it makes very little difference to large-scale poverty); we are also the foremost supporters of the large-scale relief agencies such as World Vision, Compassion International, and others. For the Christian community, it’s both/and, not either/or. We try to impact individuals and nations. The suggestion that Christians care only for unborn kids is pure slander, and it’s always been pure slander — even before the advent of international adoption. As for the criticism that we adopt to evangelize — well, let me put it this way: I cannot imagine hating my own child so much that I wouldn’t introduce her to Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. When we adopt, our hearts our bound to that child just as it is to our biological children. Sharing our faith with our children, training them up in the way they should go (to paraphrase Proverbs), is every bit a part of parenting as food and shelter. It is the essence of our love for them. So, yes, we evangelize our children. But guess what? So does the radical Left. In fact, they indoctrinate their kids into their world view as thoroughly and often intolerantly as the most fire-breathing fundamentalist. So if they want to decry “evangelization,” then physician, heal thyself.” – David French

“IRS Audited 69% of Filers Who Claimed Adoption Tax Credit” – Joe Carter on why the IRS would do a mass audit of parents who filed for adoption credit. (The Gospel Coalition)

“But why should Christians care that the IRS gives special increased scrutiny to those who claim this exemption? Because it provides a disincentive to adopt a child and could potentially leave thousands of children without parents. No one chooses to adopt simply because they can deduct the expenses. And the tax credit likely doesn’t affect the decision of most adoptive parents. But as almost all economists would say, when considering a policy we have to think about the margins by considering the cases where the decision can be swayed by seemingly minor incentives. Some people can only afford the expenses of adopting a child because of the tax credit. Other people may be eager to adopt but are so fearful of an IRS audit that it changes their decision. Whether or not we agree with the way they weigh such economic considerations, the fact is that in making life-changing choices incentives and disincentives can have profound consequences. While Americans must be accountable to government authorities, we should also ensure that those authorities are being fair and just to all concerned. And one of the most significant ways we can give justice to the weak and the fatherless (Psalm 82:3) is by making it easier on prospective parents who want to give them a home.” – Joe Carter

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