Tax Breaks for New Parents

DSCN2510Most parents aren’t aware of all the tax deductions you can take besides just the one for having a child. You can deduct birth expenses, childcare, nursing supplies like a rental or purchase of a pump, and you can even deduct your doula.

If you adopted a child this year, there are tax credits for that, too. And if you’re a single parent, you will now be eligible to file as head of household, which gets you additional deductions as well.

In 2015, new parents 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 necessary (or at least many women think so!) for birth.
  • Adoption. If you adopted, the Adoption Tax credit is available to offset your out-of-pocket costs for 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’ll 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.
  • 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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