Can You Write Off a Childbirth Expense on Your Taxes?

Your new bundle of joy can also bring you a tax deduction.
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Giving birth to a baby can bring lots of new changes in your life, but plenty of expenses, too. Especially if you don't have a great insurance plan, the costs of giving birth can take a chunk out of your savings. However, knowing how to write it off on your taxes can get some of it back.

Eligible Expenses

You can include any of the medical expenses associated with giving birth on your taxes. You can also include the costs of staying at the hospital while you're giving birth. If you have to stay at lodging besides the hospital, such as if you have to travel to give birth, you can also include up to $50 per night per person as long as the criteria is met. The lodging must be primarily for and necessary to giving birth, the medical care must be provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to a licensed hospital, the lodging can't be "lavish or extravagant" given the circumstances, and you cannot engage in any significant personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation while traveling.

Reimbursement Reduction

You must reduce your child-birth expenses by the amount of any reimbursement you receive for the expenses. For example, if your insurance or your spouse's insurance covers 80 percent of the costs, you can only include the 20 percent that you pay out-of-pocket as a qualified medical expense. Similarly, if you pay the full cost out-of-pocket, but you receive a reimbursement check for some of the costs, you have to reduce your costs by the amount of reimbursement.

Deduction Timing

You have to include the child-birth expenses in the year that you pay for them, even if that's a different year than you gave birth. For example, if you gave birth in December 2013 but didn't actually pay the hospital until 2014, deduct your costs on your 2014 return. However, if you were to prepay the expenses in 2013 but didn't give birth until 2014, you would deduct the costs on the 2014 return.

Deduction Threshold

Your deduction doesn't necessarily equal the amount you spent out of pocket for your child-birth expenses. Instead, only the portion of your costs that exceed a certain threshold percentage of your adjusted gross income can actually be deducted. For example, if the threshold is 10 percent and your adjusted gross income is $70,000, you can only deduct your expenses exceeding $7,000. If your total costs don't exceed the threshold, you can't deduct any of your expenses.

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