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Are Breast Pumps Tax Deductible?

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breast pump

Breast pumps such as this are tax deductible.

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Updated February 20, 2011

Are breast pumps tax deductible?

Yes. The Internal Revenue Service amended its policy in February 2011 to make breast pumps tax deductible, effective for the 2010 tax year.

See more: Surgeon General Calls for Breastfeeding Support

The IRS ruling determined that breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are to be considered medical devices under the complex IRS code because, like obstetric care, breast pumps are "for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman."

See more: 5 Tips for Getting a Tax Refund Quickly

The IRS had previously considered breast pumps to be feeding equipment, and therefore a taxable expense.

Benefits of Making Breast Pumps Tax Deductible

By making breast pumps tax deductible, the IRS decision allows taxpayers whose total medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income to claim breast pumps and other supplies that assist lactation as deductions on their tax returns.

The decision to make breast pumps tax deductible also means that women can purchase the equipment, which often costs several hundred dollars, using money they have saved in pretax spending accounts.

See more: 10 Most Common Tax Mistakes

The IRS will no longer consider as income the amounts reimbursed for these expenses under flexible spending accounts, Archer medical savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, or health savings accounts.

The decision to make breast pumps tax deductible was hailed by several members of Congress who had argued for the change.

"Modern medicine has documented numerous health benefits linked to breastfeeding, including a reduced risk of illness in infants and a reduced risk of cancer in mothers," they wrote in a joint statement. "And because breastfeeding is so effective in preventing disease, it also happens to save billions in health care costs."

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