Attention, nursing mamas! It now pays to breastfeed your little ones in more ways than one. In addition to it being a great way to feed your baby, thanks to the IRS, you will be able towrite off the costof breast pumps and nursing supplies as medical deductions. That’sfantasticnews!Attention, nursing mamas! It now pays to breastfeed your little ones in more ways than one. In addition to it being a great way to feed your baby, thanks to the IRS, you will be able to write off the cost of breast pumps and nursing supplies as medical deductions. That’s fantastic news!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been pushing for this breastfeeding tax code change for a very long time. When things like vasectomies and weight-loss programs are considered allowable medical expenses, one has to wonder why lactation supplies and things that promote and support breastfeeding have gone without consideration for so long. In other words, it’s about time!
New moms: Here’s what you need to know to get a tax break for breastfeeding…
Breastfeeding Tax Breaks Basics
Of course, there is a catch: In order to deduct such medical expenses, your costs associated with nursing have to exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. But don’t fret. Crossing that threshold, especially in your baby’s first year of life, will come before you know it. Breast pumps and supplies can be incredibly expensive, not to mention trips to the pediatrician’s office, classes, and lactation workshops, and the other various prenatal and post-natal expenses can rack up pretty quickly. Keep track of all your related expenditures!
What’s Included in the IRS’ Tax Breaks for Breastfeeding
Anything used for extracting milk! In a CBSNews.com article, Michelle Eldridge, an IRS spokesperson, explains: “When looking at the supplies, what is really included in this is any item used primarily for extracting milk.”
If the nipple creams, special bras, and lotions are used for medical reasons (can we say “cracked nipples”), they may be considered applicable toward the tax break. But even if they are not, the milk extraction items are generally the most expensive things needed, so those who can reap even that aspect of the tax break can enjoy a big savings.
So How Much Can New Parents Save?
Reuters estimates that the average breast pump is $200+ and other lactation supplies can run up a bill over $1,000. With all the other new baby costs for items, including diapers, clothing, medication, etc., having a baby is very costly. With the tax break for nursing moms, they can use the money toward other needs for their child. Not to mention the health benefits of breastfeeding that are – as you know – priceless!
How to Make Breastfeeding Tax Benefits Work for You
Those who have a flexible spending account (FSA) through their employer are advised to set aside some money to cover the cost of their breast pump and breastfeeding supplies (attachments, cream, bottles, storage bags, nursing pads, etc.). Be sure to check on the specifics of your particular FSA plan (not all of them cover every IRS-approved item) or with your employer’s HR/benefits representative.
For more detailed information, visit the IRS website and/or talk to your financial adviser or tax person. Heck, talk to your mommy friends, too, and spread the word!