08.04.2014

Are maternity clothes tax deductible

Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney in the greater Philadelphia, PA area, where she focuses on tax law for businesses and families. The Internal Revenue Service allows a deduction for medical expenses for taxpayers who itemize on a Schedule A. Some parents are, however, pretty anxious to determine the gender and may schedule a private ultrasound outside of their regular medical care. You may also find, as your pregnancy progresses, that you are in need of extra assistance around the house. And despite the obvious dilemma facing parents of small children while having another baby, you cannot include in medical expenses amounts you pay for the care of children, even if those expenses are strictly to allow you to go the doctor or to the hospital for medical care. However, be careful: Infant formula is not deductible, even if you can’t (or don’t wish to) breastfeed.
Other supplies like diapers (or the cost of a diaper service), lotions and baby shampoo are likewise not deductible. And of course, once you go into labor, the cost of the hospital stay, doctor and nursing care, medications, ultrasounds and other monitoring are medical expenses for the purpose of claiming a deduction.
Fortunately, taxpayers can catch a few breaks under the Tax Code to make it a little more bearable.


The deduction is limited to those qualifying medical expenses that are greater than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI, found at line 37 of your federal income tax return). The cost of your doctor visits is deductible to the extent that you pay out of pocket; any costs that are reimbursed to you or are paid by your insurer are not deductible.
The cost of getting to and from those visits, whether by car, public transit or taxi — as is parking. These tests, even though they are largely considered preventive care (which is generally not deductible by IRS), are also deductible so long as they are ordered by your doctor as part of your prenatal care.
Again, so long as these tests are ordered by a doctor for medical reasons, they are deductible. The cost of this ultrasound, to the extent not covered by health insurance, would be deductible as a medical expense.
Even though maternity clothes are a necessary part of being pregnant, they are specifically excluded as a deduction by the IRS. You cannot deduct the cost of household help even if such help is recommended by a doctor; it’s considered a personal expense that is not deductible.
Again, to the extent that you are reimbursed by your insurance company (many will give you a refund if you attend so many classes), you must exclude the reimbursement from your overall medical expenses.


Effective as of the 2010 tax year, the IRS has ruled that taxpayers may use pretax dollars in their FSAs (flexible spending accounts) to cover the cost of breastfeeding supplies.
The IRS considers infant formula to be nutrition, like food for grown-ups, and therefore, not deductible. Similarly, testing to determine potential birth defects or other abnormalities, including maternal serum tests, hCG testing, chorionic villus sampling, or amniocentesis are deductible. However, to the extent that your doctor orders nursing care for you in house, those expenses are deductible.
If you don’t have an FSA, breastfeeding supplies are considered deductible as a medical expense.



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