Human Resources News & Insights

Feds do about-face on breast pump rules

Nursing mothers have another reason to smile: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) just announced that breast pumps and other lactation supplies are now tax-deductible medical expenses.

That means pre-tax funds from flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) can be used to reimburse families for the cost of these supplies.

The ruling was made last week, reversing the stance the IRS has taken on these supplies for years.

The reason these supplies weren’t tax deductible before: The IRS said that breastfeeding didn’t have enough health benefits to qualify (for tax purposes) as medical or preventive care.

Now, however, the IRS has changed its tune. It says that nursing supplies are “for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman” — which apparently translates into the fact that the agency now believes they do provide sufficient health benefits to qualify as medical or preventive care.

One thing the IRS has yet to do is specify what supplies, in addition to breast pumps, might be deductible. But it’s expected that the IRS will issue more guidance soon.

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  • HR Annie

    More guidance….. this is a winning situation. Only family that breast feed know the surmounting costs of having these devices available to their newborn children.

    I can see however them putting a timeframe on how long after birth these supplies will be able to be tax deductable.

    Being that a woman that constantly breast feeds will be able to produce milk for roughly seven years after birth.