Breast Feeding is Now Tax Deductible
If you are like most middle-class Americans, your perceive the United States Internal Revenue Service, the IRS, as being the enemy. It seems like they are always finding ways to to take more of our hard, earned income at tax time while taking less from the upper classes. If you are like most middle-class Americans, you search the tax rules every tax season to find new deductions that you can take that will keep a few extra bucks in your pocket or that will put a few more dollars in your tax refund check. This year a new ruling will allow breast feeding mothers to take an extra deduction for their breast feeding supplies.
Victory for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Breast feeding provides a multitude of health benefits to both the new borne baby and to the nursing mother. Nursing mothers are less likely to contract cancer or type-2 diabetes. Breast fed babies are less likely to become obese or develop asthma, and they are less likely to get infections, to name just a few of the benefits they derive from being breast fed. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other breast feeding advocates have known this for years. For years they have been working to get the IRS to treat Breast Milk Pumps and other breast feeding supplies just as they do other essential medical supplies, as being tax deductible. In 2010 the IRS surrender to the onslaught and made breast milk pumps and related breast feeding supplies tax deductible.
Breast Feeding can be expensive.
A breast milk pump with all the necessary accessories and supplies can cost between $500 and $1000 a year and the new tax deduction will help offset part of that necessary expense. More good news, the way the law is written, the tax deduction will apply even if you rent the breast milk pump instead of buying one.
Here is how to take advantage of this new deduction.
Tap into your pretax dollars
The easiest way to save money, if you are employed, is to set aside money in your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to cover your breast pump and other breast feeding supplies. If you do not have a FSA, submit your expenses through your partners account. Not every item may be covered so be sure to check and/or download the complete list here.
Itemize your expenses.
If neither you or your partner has a FSA, you can still take advantage of this deduction by itemizing your breast feeding and other medical expenses expenses. If your total medical expenses exceeds 7.5 percent of your gross income it will behoove you and your partner to file the longer form this year where you can itemize your medical expenses and take the deductions.
Other deductions that you may be eligible for.
As new parents you are eligible for the child-tax credit, which provides an extra $1,000 deduction for each child under the age of 17. You may also qualify for the dependent-care credit that pays for child care, after-school care, and even day camp so that parents can work or go to school.