Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

Trusted Pioneer
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-03-2017

Child tax credit and Adoption credit advice



I'm working on my tax return and my wife and I adopted two children with special needs in 2016. I know I am entitled to the maximum credit of $13,460 each child for a total $26,920 of which any amount unused can be carry forward 5 yrs. This year on my 1040, my tax liability is $5534 (Line 47 of 1040). The following credits appear thereafter, $2,000 Child tax credit (Line 52 of 1040) and Adoption credit of $5534 (Line 54 of 1040) for total credits of $7534 (Line 55 of 1040). In reviewing the return, I am wondering if this is correct?? Because if my tax liability is $5534 as noted above and we reduce that amount by the $2,000 child tax credit (Line 52 of 1040) that leaves a total of $3534 that I expected to be applied toward the adoption credit (Line 54 of 1040) and wipe out our 2016 federal tax liability accordingly. Instead the adoption credit line shows $5534.


This obviously impacts my carry over adoption credit amount depending on which amount should actually appear on Line 54 of 1040. Also, if the amount should be $5534 for the adoption credit as it currently appears shouldn't the $2,000 child tax credit be refunded as an additional child tax credit??


Seems to me I'm losing out as the return now appear but I could be wrong....


Hope this all makes sense and would be grateful for someone to advise if they can.....Thank you in advance.



Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Child tax credit and Adoption credit advice

Hi dosorio0811,


Welcome to the H&R Block community.


The adoption credit is actually one of the last non-refundable credits to be applied, and that's why the child tax credit is appearing as a non-refundable credit.  You are correct that only $3,534 of the adoption credit should be used up though.  If you're using the online software I may be able to help, however if you're using desktop you'll need to call 1-800-HRBLOCK for assistance with this one so that someone can look at this and help you figure out what's going on.


If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.



Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)

Trusted Pioneer
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-03-2017

Re: Child tax credit and Adoption credit advice

Hello Louis,


Thank you so very much for your response. I figured the same, however, what I failed to mention is unfortunately, I didn't utilize HR block this year to prepare the return, I may have to use it now if I can't get the software to work accordingly.  The software I'm using is the Tax Slayer.


In general Line 55 of 1040 (Total Credits) should never exceed Line 47 of 1040 (total tax), correct? 


Thanks again.

Tax Pro
Posts: 1,445
Registered: ‎09-04-2014

Re: Child tax credit and Adoption credit advice

Do you have an entry on line 67, additional child tax credit?

When having both CTC and adoption credit, the adoption credit is used first. If it eliminated tax liability then you will receive the refundable CTC in the payment section, increasing your refund. 

Sr. Tax Analyst