Getting your papers in order for tax day? Make sure to stick your breast pump receipt in the pile. According to a new ruling issued by the IRS this week, the cost of breast pumps will now be considered a tax-deductible medical expense.
What does that mean for you? If you have an HSA, or health savings account, you can use money set aside in this pretax spending account to buy the pumps and related equipment, just as you would other medical equipment or fees. If you don't have an HSA, you can deduct the cost of your breast pump and other related equipment as long as your total medical costs exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.
Before this ruling, the IRS considered breast pumps as feeding equipment, not medical devices, thus they were not tax-deductible. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics argued that there are many medical benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Last year, 45 members of Congress wrote the IRS to protest the agency's classification of breast pumps.
It's a great victory for breastfeeding advocates who hope this new ruling will make breast pumps more affordable, and therefore encourage women to start breastfeeding and stick with it longer than they might otherwise.
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