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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

IRS Adoption Credit Update...finally!

Well, it finally happened...
  • after 4 months of waiting
  • after three rounds of letters from the IRS but without being able to talk with a single live person for guidance
  • after many hours of digging through financial records from 2008 and 2009
  • after contacting our adoption agencies for copies of receipts for adoption expenses for our two sons
  • After providing translations of adoption documents from Russian to English
  • After calculating conversions from KZ tengee to US dollars for our living and travel expenses in Kazakhstan for the 3 trips we made between October, 2008 until our adoption was finalized in January, 2009...
On August 12, 2011, the Department of the Treasury deposited $16,000 and change into our checking account. To their credit, it was every penny of what our refund was supposed to be...no interest, of course...or penalties for being late. I bet if we were the ones stalling on our owed taxes, the IRS wouldn't have hesitated to sock us with both interest and penalties...but I'm so relieved to get this audit behind us that I'll just climb down off my soap box and let it go now...except for a few personal observations about how this audit has affected us as a family.

It's been a lean summer here. Craig and I were worried about what would happen if our refund was disallowed so we've been trying to limit our spending. The kids are getting used to hearing us say, "No, we can't go to the movies this weekend, money is a little tight right now." and "No, we can't order takeout Chinese tonight because it costs too much for our family of 7...let's learn to make Chinese at home instead!" and I don't think learning the realities of living on a budget has been such a bad thing for our kids who normally don't want for much. I won't pretend that it's been fun for any of us, especially for Mom and Dad who have been stressing more and more as the months dragged on, wondering if we'd ever see our refund. (Have I mentioned that it's OUR freaking money the IRS was holding all these months???) Even with our austerity measures, there are bills waiting to be paid, home repairs that need to be made, kids to feed, and school clothes to buy. 

I feel like we've been holding our breath all summer; I have to admit I've been feeling the stress. I've felt angry, worried, and frustrated far more often than I have liked and it's been hard to relax and enjoy the summer with this hanging fire. We returned reluctantly from our NH trip prepared to sigh and cry over our bills once more...but when Craig checked our bank balance and discovered the direct deposit from IRS, we were finally able to breathe again.

I suspect we're not alone....every family in the country who applied for an adoption tax credit was audited this year. Wonder how much money Uncle Sam made in interest on our money nationwide? How much money they kept because not everyone was able to produce documentation? How much....

Oops, sorry....climbing off my soapbox. Assuming lotus position, practicing Zen breathing, reciting Serenity Prayer...ommmmmm.


farmbeachgal said...

WooHoo! So so happy for you guys!

Elisa LaSota said...

Yeah...for you!