This is a medical expense, for realWe can stop hating on the IRS now, ladies, as the outrage last year over breastfeeding supplies not being tax deductible seems to have worked. The IRS reversed its decision to deny pumps and other breastfeeding supplies as a "medical expense," so sign up for that flexible spending account as soon as you get the positive sign on the stick!
This reversal comes after the American Academy of Pediatrics, and moms around the country, put pressure on the agency to reconsider the long-held position. Hopefully some of you wrote letters and made phone calls about this issue -- if so, great job!
Here's what the AAP had to say about the reversal:
Due to resounding evidence of improved child health and well-being, the AAP recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child’s life. As many as 45 percent to 50 percent of mothers return to work full time within six months of their infant’s birth; breast pumps allow working mothers to continue breastfeeding. Before today, steep cost burdens could prevent working mothers from purchasing breast pumps and related equipment.
Now, more women will be able to pass on the health benefits of breastfeeding to their babies, which include protections against asthma and other respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections, and obesity, among other ailments. Pre-tax dollars already cover expenses like immunizations and bandages, and thanks to today’s ruling, women who wish to breastfeed will experience these same cost savings for breastfeeding supplies.
It's incredibly silly that this wasn't covered in the first place. I can write off food now that I have a gluten allergy. Food that's gluten-free, and essential to my health. Breast milk can also be essential to a baby's health, and if pumping is the way it has to be obtained, the expense should be deductible. Breast pumps are expensive! Now if only we could make sure everyone has a pre-tax flexible spending account. But that fight is for another day ...
Image via Amazon