Thursday, April 12, 2012

adoption tax credit review...

"Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you experience various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."
James 1:2-3

A few weeks ago I got a letter in the mail from the IRS stating that our adoption tax credit part of our income tax return was being held until they had reviewed our file.  Great. Later came a letter that stated we needed to send in all of our supporting receipts and documents with written descriptions within 30 days.  Gulp.  Um...I had them, but...Believe it or not, I am not the most organized person, in fact, I am a terrible organizer.  It's not that I hate organization, I'm just not good at it.  I love having everything organized, and if there is a spot for things to go, I put them there, but...hand me a pile of stuff that has no defined spot in my home and look out.  I tend to glaze over and put it aside, later I will relocate it to another equally inefficient spot, until one day I will finally figure out a plan and take care of it.  Well, while we were in Colombia I stuffed all receipts in my computer bag.  When I got home I stuffed them in an envelope with the other adoption paper work, I stuffed all of that paperwork in a box and forgot about it.  Since then we moved and thankfully I found the box sitting in the basement in the pile of "my junk that needs to be organized."

So, I hauled it all out and began sorting...that was a little fun, kinda like a walk down memory lane.  Then I began adding it all was then that I realized how many of the receipts we had were just invoices, but not receipts marked PAID.  So began my quest for every last receipt, bank and credit card statement to prove our claim.  I had to track down several of them from various places, but I did it.  Most of my receipts were in Spanish and Colombian Pesos, so I spent a great deal of time figuring out the conversion rate and what each receipt was for.  Then came the issue of how to organize it all.  My sister in law Sarah suggested using Excel, she gave me some instruction and ideas, but...I have never used Excel or made a spread sheet in my life!  With a little help, somehow I managed to figured it out.  Finally, I had to make copies of every receipt to send them.  Being that I was gone for 5 weeks, I had accumulated quite a stack!

Did I consider it pure joy?  Um, no.  The entire time I worked on this thing I felt like it was constantly hanging over my head, I just wanted it out of my hands. But when I opened up my Bible study for Tuesday,  James 1:2-3 was written at the top of the page!  Oops.  I was so annoyed by the whole thing and really, it is a huge blessing to be getting a refund.  I know most people who claim the adoption tax credit get red flagged and have to send in documentation for this, but for whatever reason{probably my organization issue} it got me all in a tizzy!   Finally on Tuesday, I was able to mail it out, what a relief!  Now I pray that's enough, and they send us our check with out any further ado...We shall see...but I hope I will be able to choose joy even if they 'bug' me again!