Breastfeeding Moms Win Tax Break from IRS

This week, the IRS announced that new mothers have been granted a tax break for pumps and other breastfeeding supplies they may need to purchase for nursing. According to the agency, mothers will have a couple of options to choose from to ease their financial obligations associated with these supplies.

Flexible Spending Breaks and Deductions for Those Who Itemize

The IRS says breastfeeding mothers will be able to take advantage of one of two components of the tax break. For those who have flexible spending accounts, their pretax dollars can now cover the cost of breast pumps and other supplies.

Those who do not have flexible spending accounts will be able to deduct breast-feeding costs if their total un-reimbursed medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. This benefit is only available for mothers who itemize their taxes.

Tax Break to Help Millions Continue Breastfeeding

According to the IRS, issuing this tax break will help millions of nursing mothers be able to continue their breastfeeding efforts without worrying about paying the often expensive out-of-pocket costs for nursing supplies.

Many mothers struggle with the difficult decision of whether to breastfeed because, despite its enormous health benefits for the baby including protections against asthma, respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections and obesity, the challenge of nursing while working makes it nearly impossible to continue one without quitting the other.

By making breastfeeding supplies more affordable to working mothers, they have the opportunity to provide for their babies while still going out and contributing financially to their families.

The IRS says the tax breaks for breastfeeding moms will be effective for expenses incurred starting as early as 2010.

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  • Stephanie

    Someone needs to actually do the math on this. A good pump,$350, breast pads $5/month, and if you store the milk in bags instead of the bottle your child drinks from, $20/month. So, in a year, your total cost is about $650. Now, look at the 2 options for getting this tax break 1)flexible spending account: to have this, you have a job with decent insurance and therefore probably decent pay. The $650 that you spend in a year is not a whole lot of money to you and you would have spent it anyway, even without the tax incentive. Conversely, the $130 you save on taxes (20% of $650) is not going to convince you to breastfeed if you otherwise would not have. Option 2) itemize your taxes and get the write-off if the expenses exceed 7.5% gross adjusted income. With $650 in expenses, your income would have to be LESS than $8666 to qualify for this. How many people who make less than $10k a year actually itemize their taxes.

    End result: Another complication in the tax code that in effect benefits no one other than to allow lawmakers to say “look what we did, aren’t we great”.

  • Crystal

    I think the breastfeeding supplies adding to other medical expenses could possibly be enough to be written off. My husband is self-employed and we have to itemize our taxes. I am due in May and plan to nurse our 2nd child even after I return to work for the whole 12 months.So I am hoping with the breastfeeding supplies added to out out-of pocket expenses for all medical this year we might come close to being able to write it all off next year. The breastfeeding supplies alone would never work, but adding it as part of medical expenses might help!

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