In a ruling announced last week by the Internal Revenue Service, the cost of breast pumps and related lactation supplies are now considered tax deductible medical expenses. The ruling goes into effect for 2010 tax filings.
Previously, the equipment was classified as “feeding equipment” and not deductible. After a letter of protest last year signed by 45 members of Congress and arguments made by the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding the medical benefits of breastfeeding for the baby and mother, the IRS has reclassified the equipment as a “medical device.”
Families who set aside pretax dollars in a Health Savings Account can use this money for breast pumps and related supplies, which can tally anywhere from $500 to more than $1,500 for the baby’s first year. For families without an HSA, the cost of the equipment may still be deductible on income tax returns if total medical costs exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income.
Read more about the medical benefits of breastfeeding for baby and mother in this blog post by Certified Nurse Midwife Helen Welch >