Congratulations, it’s a…Tax Deduction!

Congratulations, it's a Tax DeductionMy third girl was born in February 2013. I was worried about ice storms, but we ended up leaving the hospital on a sunny, 60-degree day. I was wearing a sarong and a nursing tank. We didn’t even put a hat on her. That’s winter in north Texas for you.

The only bummer about having a baby early in the year is that you have to wait nearly a year to get the tax deduction. In 2014, new moms get more tax breaks than ever before for baby and breastfeeding-related expenses. So what can you deduct if you itemize?

  • Birth center or hospital stay. You can deduct whatever portion of your stay insurance had you pay for out of pocket.
  • Midwife or OB/GYN fee. The bill for your care provider is separate from your hospital bill, and it’s also deductible.
  • Doula. Doulas aren’t covered by insurance, and even though they aren’t medical providers, they are deductible as birth support.
  • Adoption. If you adopted, the Adoption Tax credit is available to offset out-of-pocket costs up to $13,360 for couples who make less than $185,000 a year.
  • Daycare. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit allows you to take deductions for childcare expenses up to a certain amount. You just need the tax number or name of your day care center, or if you use an individual who watches children in your home or their home, you’ll need their social security or tax number.
  • Sales tax on major baby purchases. “If parents live in a state that they can claim sales tax on their tax return, they can claim sales tax on major purchases for their newborn,” says Todd Collom of Metroplex Tax Advisors in Fort Worth, Texas.  “Like bedroom sets and home remodels for the baby–not small purchases but large ones that run in the thousands.”
  • Pumping and nursing supplies. For the first time ever, moms can count breast pumps and “supplies that assist lactation” as medical expenses! Apparently, this change was suggested in 2010 but was rejected because the IRS didn’t think breastfeeding had enough benefits to be considered medical care. Insane.

For more information on these and other tax breaks, please talk to a qualified accountant. This information is not intended to be the sum total of your tax advice. Thankfully, my tax guy is super cool and didn’t blink an eye as I sorted through medical statements while nursing my now 1-year-old tax deduction.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mom of three girls who lives and writes in Queensbury, New York. 

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