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I am in the process of applying for an adoption tax credit in the U.S. I have found in the IRS documentation that I need to include:

The adoption certificate, order judgement, or decree clearly establishing that the adoption is final. Showing the names of the adoptive child and parent (yourself) and signed and dated by a representative of a state or county court, showing the official seal.

Do they require the original document, and if so, will I get the copy returned? Thanks!

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Here is a link to the IRS Page on the adoption credit http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

"To claim the credit or exclusion, complete Form 8839 (PDF), Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach the form to your Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040A (PDF). You must attach one or more adoption related documents (identified in the form instructions) with the completed Form 8839, and attach the Form 8839 to your Form 1040 or Form 1040NR. The required documents vary depending on whether the adoption is foreign or domestic, whether it becomes final in the tax year, and whether it is for a special-needs child. "

here are the instructions http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i8839/ch02.html

"Documentation requirements. You must provide at least one of the documents described below to support your claim for each eligible child on line 1. Attach the documents to Form 8839 and file with your income tax return. Copies are acceptable unless otherwise specified. You may redact sensitive personal information from an adoption order or decree or from a special needs determination; however, the IRS may require you to provide an unredacted copy at a later date."

to determine if an original form is needed, you have to select from one of 5 types of adoptions.

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Call the IRS and ask them: 1-800-829-1040. The automated phone system is kind of annoying and slow, but when you get through to someone tell them you are claiming the Adoption Credit and you would like to know if you can send in a copy of the original adoption certificate or do you have to send in the original itself. They'll probably ask you a few questions after that.

If you have to send in the original, you should probably send it certified. Get a confirmation when they receive it. They will return it.

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