As of 2011, the IRS concluded that “breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are medical care under § 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code because, like obstetric care, they are for the purpose of affecting a structure or function of the body of the lactating woman.”
They add, “Therefore, if the remaining requirements of § 213(a) are met (for example, the taxpayer’s total medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income), expenses paid for breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are deductible medical expenses. Amounts reimbursed for these expenses under flexible spending arrangements, Archer medical savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, or health savings accounts are not income to the taxpayer.”
You can access the entire official statement HERE.
In general, if you are able to deduct medical expenses on your tax return (typically your expenses would exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income) then you can include all the items you purchased for lactation.
Also, whether or not you can deduct medical expenses, you can use your FSA or HSA account dollars for lactation supplies, including breast pumps, breast pump parts, accessories, etc.
If you don’t have an FSA or are curious about what they cover if your employer offers one, they are an account where you contribute money from your paycheck prior to taxes being deducted. This money is saved for you and you spend it on qualified medical expenses (pre-tax) during the year. Be sure to talk to your plan administrator because there may be some limitations and there can be procedures for getting reimbursed if your plan doesn’t offer a debit card that you can use at the time of purchase.
If you are using your FSA or HSA debit card, you will need to shop online (or locally) at a store that can accept those types of credit/debit cards. A DME (medical equipment supplier) can accept them — ask us if you need help finding a retailer where you can purchase Ardo parts and supplies with your FSA/HSA card.