By Gina Loudon
It is no secret that the IRS watches certain groups of taxpayers with increased scrutiny. For instance, millionaires have about a one-in-eight chance of being audited.
There is another segment of American taxpayers who face approximately six times those odds of a visit from the IRS: adoptive parents.
Adoptions are expensive. The average cost of adoption is $30,000. In response to those costs, and the millions of children in the U.S. and abroad waiting to be adopted, Congress passed Adoption Tax Credits. States then began to match those credits.
New information from the Taxpayer Advocate Service says that 90 percent of those who filed for the adoption tax credits in 2012 were asked for “additional information.”
And the study says 69 percent of the families who adopted were ultimately audited by the IRS. In comparison, millionaires have 12 percent chance of being audited. On average, $117,000 more in taxes is collected per audited millionaire. The audits of adoptive families bring in substantially smaller yield of 1.5 percent additional revenue.
In an exclusive WND interview with Michael Reagan, author of “Twice Adopted,” he asked the question, “Are they doing this because they are concerned about fraud?”
In his column in National Review Online, an adoptive father who was audited in 2012, David French, seems to answer Reagan’s first question, “If the IRS is concerned about fraud, it can audit random samples, not the vast majority of adoptive families claiming the credit.”
“At first, this may seem like a further attack on patriot groups,” said adoptive father and former State Sen. John Loudon, R-Mo., in an exclusive interview with WND. “It is true that many who advocate for ‘orphans’ and adoption, are motivated by their Judeo-Christian values.”
Loudon sponsored the bill creating the special-needs adoption tax credit for the state of Missouri. He continued, “but one of the loudest lobbies demanding more adoption rights is the LGBT community. So this may in fact, be an expansion of the IRS targets. Even if they aren’t a targeted group, they could be inadvertently targeted.”
Reagan said that any group, on the state or national level, that opposes the powerful politically elite may be the next in line to be targeted.
“I have wondered for a long time why the banking industry hasn’t said anything about the Washington, D.C., elites who caused the housing crisis. There is great fear of Washington, D.C., with good reason. They do target those who dare to challenge them.”
He cited examples where that has happened on the national level, such as the IRS targets of reporters, Jewish groups and now adoptive families.
In his post on Hot Air, Ed Morrissey pointed to the poor as yet another group hurt by the IRS’ targeting of adoptive families.
“It’s not that adoptive families are predominately wealthy; TAS [Taxpayer Advocate Service] notes that 45 percent of these families were at 200 percent of the poverty level or below, and had already endured an expensive, lengthy process to complete their adoptions. Either the IRS is terribly incompetent at prioritization, or the organization has a bias against adoption.”
Keith Riler of American Thinker sees an increase in adoption as a way to close the gap in our federal budget.
He writes, “If an effective ad campaign can dramatically reduce the incidence of smoking, drunk driving, the failure to use seat belts, or obesity, then surely there is an answer that softens the hearts and minds of pregnant women when it comes to adoption. The good news is that the cure for our abortion epidemic already exists, and it is adoption. If, in fact, there are 36 couples lined up for every adoption, there are 4-5 million couples waiting for babies, a number that is 3-4x greater than the 1.2 million babies we annually abort. Imagine the benefits of annually adding another 1.2 million happy and productive citizens. These rescued individuals and their children just might solve the demographic challenges of our broken entitlement programs.”
French explained the additional strain an IRS audit puts on the family of a newly adopted child, “As an adoptive family, it’s sometimes difficult to describe the immense challenges in gathering paperwork, opening your lives to social workers for home studies, then expensive travel to sometimes-corrupt foreign locales to then launch a new life with a child you love immensely but who is also experiencing his or her own culture shock and adjustment.
“All of this places a great strain on family finances and emotions. To then face an audit on the other side? All so the IRS can collect a whopping 1 percent additional revenue?”
In his interview with WND, Reagan said this issue is like so many that the American public faces today.
He described it as an “assault on our liberties” that the church has left unanswered.
“You can’t win the fight if you don’t put on the gloves,” he quoted from a recent post.
“Where’s the church?” he continued, “The church isn’t even standing up!”
He said that although many within various Christian communities are defending families, the church itself is not.
“Are they afraid of losing their 501(c)3? How do we stand as individuals without the support of the whole?”
He explained that he believes that the reason groups are targeted by the IRS (and other state and national bureaucracies) is because the church has stood down.
“Nobody has our back,” said Reagan. “Nothing will change until that does.”