A couple years ago, I wrote a brief post about an Oregon Senator that proposed tax credits for breastfeeding women. I called it pumping for dollars. Now, the New York Times is reporting on a titillating turn of events with the US tax code:
Ending a long-running dispute with pediatricians and breast-feeding advocates, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday that it would grant nursing mothers a tax break on pumps and other breastfeeding supplies.
Here is the actual decision letter from the Department of the Treasury regarding tax deductions for breast pumps and other lactation assistance supplies for 2011. Families with flexible spending accounts (FSAs) (and I assume high deductible health savings accounts (HSAs)) can now purchase their breastfeeding supplies with pretax dollars. This is perfect timing for Mrs Happy and our new baby. He's only a few short months away from his first tax free breast pumping experience of a lifetime.
But what about all the men out there that want to breast feed? Is this tax deduction sexist? Should only women get the benefit of a breastfeeding tax deduction? According to CNN, men in Spain get breastfeeding time off. That's right folks, the Spaniards are all into equal opportunity pumping. Watch the video for proof! Why not breastfeeding men? This all makes perfect sense. Some gay men may want to give their baby the same opportunity to bond with their child as women do with theirs. I'm just waiting for the day the IRS rejects reimbursement of breastfeeding supplies for a gay male couple. It's only a matter of time before Barny Frank sponsors the Male Pumpers Act of 2011, with Elton John as his star Congressional witness. Now that's CSPAN testimony worth watching.
But what about all those mothers who don't want to breastfeed? How do they get to take advantage of up to $6,000 in yearly tax free HSA contributions? For all you mothers out there with an HSA or FSA who aren't breast feeding, I've got a great business model for you to earn extra money on the side.
- Max out your $6,000 HSA calendar year contribution.
- Purchase $6,000 worth of breast feeding supplies every calendar year from an online superstore. Print your receipt and file it with your HSA tax receipts.
- Return your $6,000 worth of breast feeding supplies to said online superstore without your receipt. Keep your receipt filed in your tax drawer. Nobody will ever know.
- Take out $6,000 in tax free HSA contributions every calendar year.
- Tell the IRS that you plan on breast feeding your child until they turn 18 years old or until they move out.