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IRS.gov Website
taxmap/instr2/i8839-000.htm#en_us_publink23077td0e6

Instructions for Form 8839

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Qualified Adoption Expenses


2015
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What's New(p1)

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2015 maximum credit.(p1)
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The maximum credit and the exclusion for employer-provided benefits are both $13,400 per eligible child in 2015. This amount begins to phase out if you have modified adjusted gross income in excess of $201,010 and is completely phased out for modified adjusted gross income of $241,010 or more.
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Future Developments(p1)

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For the latest information about developments related to Form 8839 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they are published, go to www.irs.gov/form8839.
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General Instructions(p1)

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Purpose of Form(p1)

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Use Form 8839 to figure your adoption credit and any employer-provided adoption benefits you can exclude from your income. You can claim both the exclusion and the credit for expenses of adopting an eligible child. For example, depending on the cost of the adoption, you may be able to exclude up to $13,400 from your income and also be able to claim a credit of up to $13,400. But, you can't claim both a credit and exclusion for the same expenses. See Qualified Adoption Expenses and Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits, later.
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Adoption credit.(p1)
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Use Form 8839, Part II, to figure the adoption credit you can take on Form 1040, line 54 or Form 1040NR, line 51. Check box c on that line and enter 8839 in the space next to box c. You may be able to take this credit in 2015 if any of the following statements are true.
  1. You paid qualified adoption expenses in connection with the adoption of an eligible U.S. child (including any expenses paid in connection with adopting an eligible U.S. child with special needs) in:
    1. 2014 and the adoption wasn't final at the end of 2014, or
    2. 2015 and the adoption became final in or before 2015.
  2. You adopted an eligible U.S. child with special needs and the adoption became final in 2015. (In this case, you may be able to take the credit even if you didn't pay any qualified adoption expenses.)
  3. You paid qualified adoption expenses in connection with the adoption of an eligible foreign child in:
    1. 2015 or prior years and the adoption became final in 2015, or
    2. 2015 and the adoption became final before 2015.
      See Column (e), later.
  4. You have a carryforward of an adoption credit from 2014.
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Income exclusion for employer-provided adoption benefits.(p1)
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Use Form 8839, Part III, to figure the employer-provided adoption benefits you can exclude from your income on Form 1040, line 7, or Form 1040NR, line 8. You may be able to exclude these benefits from income if your employer had a written qualified adoption assistance program (see Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits, later) and any of the following statements are true.
  1. You received employer-provided adoption benefits in 2015. However, special rules apply for benefits received in connection with the adoption of an eligible foreign child. See Column (e), later.
  2. You adopted an eligible U.S. child with special needs and the adoption became final in 2015.
  3. You received employer-provided adoption benefits in connection with the adoption of an eligible foreign child in:
    1. 2015 or prior years and the adoption became final in 2015, or
    2. 2015 and the adoption became final before 2015.
      See Column (e), later.
For purposes of calculating the adoption credit in Part II, qualified adoption expenses don't include expenses reimbursed by an employer under a written qualified adoption assistance program (see Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits). For this reason, you must complete Form 8839, Part III, before you can figure the credit, if any, in Part II. But see Child with special needs.
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You can't exclude employer-provided adoption benefits if your employer is an S corporation in which you own more than 2% of the stock or stock with more than 2% of the voting power.
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Income limit.(p1)
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The income limit on the adoption credit or exclusion is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). For 2015, use the following table to see if the income limit will affect your credit or exclusion.
IF your MAGI is...THEN the income limit...
$201,010 or lesswon't affect your credit or exclusion.
Between $201,011 and $241,009will reduce your credit or exclusion.
$241,010 or morewill eliminate your credit or exclusion.