When is a breast pump a medical expense instead of just a mother’s helper? When the IRS says it is.
Reversing years of its own rulings, the IRS said last week that nursing mothers can treat breast pumps and other breastfeeding supplies as medical expenses.
The practical effect is that people with pre-tax flexible spending accounts (FSAs) can now use that money for those costs, and the expenses can also be applied toward the deduction for un-reimbursed medical expenses for folks who itemize on their tax returns.
Why the change now? The Service isn’t saying. Maybe someone noticed Michelle Obama’s campaign to promote breastfeeding, and a Harvard Medical School study reporting that health care costs in the US could be cut $13 billion annually just by having infants fed breast milk in their first six months.