Pregnancy-Related Deductions

Nancy Lowrie/freeimages
Nancy Lowrie/freeimages

 

Having your first child is not only a life-changing event, but also a time for many questions and concerns. There’s no doubt raising a child to age 18 is expensive: the most recent estimate, adjusted for inflation, is $304,480. Let’s not forget expenses before the child is even born.

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the deductible pregnancy-related expenses.

What’s Deductible

Generally the IRS regards any “medically necessary” pregnancy-related expense as a deductible expense. There’s a catch, however: they must be out-of-pocket expenses. Anything covered by your insurance isn’t deductible, but any expense not covered by insurance can be deductible. Here are some of those expenses:

  • Childbirth courses
  • Prenatal visits with a health care provider
  • Prescription medication
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Labor & delivery charges not covered by insurance
  • Hospital charges not covered by insurance
  • Medically-necessary tests.
  • Post-partum care

Ultrasounds are deductible as long as they are prescribed by your doctor. At the same time, novelty ultrasounds (3-D or similar) that aren’t prescribed by your doctor are not deductible. Great for the grandparents, but not deductible.

As badly as you want to write off the piles of sweats and yoga pants and/or maternity work clothes, they’re not deductible. Exception: If you are required to wear a work uniform and you purchase the “maternity” version of that uniform, you can take the deduction.

Exception to the exception: If your employer pays for or reimburses you for the maternity uniform, you can’t deduct the cost from your taxes.

If your budget allows for a Mother’s Helper to get you through those crazed sleep-deprived weeks after the baby is born, you may save your sanity but you can’t deduct the cost.

Exception: If you are on medical bed rest prescribed by your physician, you can deduct the cost of having a Mother’s Helper.

The Math

The IRS generally allows for costs exceeding 7.5 percent of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) to be claimed deduction. You will need to file the 1040 long form and attach schedule A, which is used for itemized deductions.

As with anything else tax-related, keep all of your related receipts and documents in a safe place so you can refer to them on tax day.

Having your first child is a landmark event in your life, and in the life of your friends and extended family. Raising a child is expensive, but you can take the sting out of some of the earlier costs by taking certain pregnancy-related deductions on your tax return.

Any life event such as marriage, buying a home, or big jump in salary, warrants checking in with a qualified tax advisor if you have any questions regarding pregnancy-related tax deductions. He or she can clarify which expenses can be deducted given your unique tax situation.

 

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