Breast-feeding supplies deductible, IRS rules

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:17am EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Breast pumps and other lactation supplies are now tax deductible as medical expenses, the Internal Revenue Service said on Thursday, February 10, reversing a long-held position.

The new ruling means that families can use pre-tax funds from their flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts for these supplies. Breast pumps typically cost more than $200 and, along with supplies, can run as high as $1,000 in the first year of a baby's life.

Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics asked the IRS to allow this deduction, but the agency initially denied that request.

Medical expenses are not deductible until they exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. But since most mothers incur this expense in the same year that they are also piling up the expenses involved in pregnancy and childbirth, their total healthcare spending could put them over the top for the deduction.

(Reporting by Linda Stern; Editing by )

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