What Breastfeeding Moms Can Write Off on Their Taxes

That breast pump may have cost you a pretty penny, but here’s a reminder for moms and their families when doing taxes this season: You may be able to deduct your breast pump and other lactation-related expenses on your taxes.

In November 2014, the IRS issued a ruling that lactation expenses fall under deductible medical expenses. “The Internal Revenue Service has concluded that breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are medical care under 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code because, like obstetric care, they are for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman,” according to a statement by the IRS.

That means any costs related to breastfeeding or delivering breast milk to the baby are considered write-offs, including breast pumps, bottles, storage pads, and containers, according to certified public accountant Montgomery Dillavou. The ruling doesn’t apply to nursing bras and creams, according to Michelle Eldridge, a spokeswoman for the IRS. “When looking at the supplies, what really is included in this is any item used primarily for extracting milk,” Eldridge told CBS News.

In order to meet the requirements for deduction, the amount of your medical expenses should total more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, according to the IRS. But as anyone who has purchased lactation supplies knows, those costs add up quickly.

If it’s been a few years since you breastfed, you may want to revisit your old taxes again and see if you can still get a deduction — or at least have a conversation with your accountant: “When the IRS issued the rule, it made the deduction retroactive to 2010,” Dillavou told KOAT-TV.

Rachel Grumman Bender


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