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.