How To Deduct Fertility Expenses, Like IVF, From Your Taxes

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Brighid Flynn •Mar 6, 2023

Infertility — it's a tough journey: physically, emotionally, and financially. But did you know that you may be able to deduct some of the costs of fertility treatments, like in-vitro fertilization (IVF), from your taxes? You heard that right — the IRS recognizes the financial burden that infertility can place on families, and some tax deductions and credits are available to help ease some of the stress

Before we get into the nitty-gritty and start throwing words at you like "adjusted gross income," "itemized deductions," and other terms that will make your head spin, let's begin by explaining what a tax deduction essentially means. 

Are fertility treatments tax deductible?

Starting with the basics, a tax deduction is also called a tax write-off, and it's a fancy way of saying you can subtract certain expenses from your taxable income. So, let's say you made $50,000 in a year, but you spent $5,000 on deductible expenses (like medical bills, charitable donations, or student loans). You can subtract that $5,000 from your taxable income, meaning you only have to pay taxes on $45,000. Cha-ching!

person opening a folder full of tax documents

Fertility expenses are tax deductible, meaning you can deduct certain medical expenses related to infertility! More specifically, you can deduct unreimbursed medical expenses over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) when you file your taxes. The average IVF cycle can typically cost around $15,000 to $20,000. So, if you make $50,000 annually, anything over 7.5% of that ($3,750) can be written off. For the average IVF cycle, that's potentially over $15,000 in deductions!  

Keep in mind, however, that if your insurance provider covers some of your medical costs, whatever costs they cover won't be able to go toward what you can write off. The other caveat is that, unfortunately, being in a same-sex couple is not currently considered ‘infertility’ in most cases by the IRS. Sigh. 

What fertility expenses can I write off on my taxes?

When it comes to deducting fertility expenses from your taxes, a few different types of fees may qualify. The most common are IVF costs, including medications, doctor's visits, and procedures. However, you may also be able to deduct expenses related to other fertility treatments, like fertility medications, artificial insemination, and other medical procedures.

Here is a short list of fertility expenses you may be able to deduct from your taxes: 

  • Most fertility treatments, including medications (like birth control!), egg and sperm storage, and lab fees

  • Certain medical procedures, such as surgery to reverse a vasectomy and even acupuncture!

  • Behavioral health services, like therapy

  • Supplements, like vitamins, as recommended by your doctor

  • Admission and transportation costs to infertility conferences

  • Pregnancy tests and pregnancy care

  • Labor and delivery costs

  • Breastfeeding supplies and lactation consultant services

  • Health insurance premiums

It's important to note that there are certain rules and limitations to what you can deduct, so it's a good idea to speak with a tax professional to ensure you're on the right track. It's also good to check with the IRS to ensure these expenses are still eligible.

Also, to qualify for tax deductions, you must keep detailed records and receipts of all the expenses you've paid for throughout your infertility journey. Consider saving a folder on your computer containing all of the receipts you've saved up over the years for these expenses.

Generally speaking, though, if you've had to pay out of pocket for fertility treatments, it's definitely worth looking into whether you can deduct those expenses from your taxes. Every little bit helps, right?

coffee mug and tax documents

What about fertility expenses that can't be written off?

Unfortunately, not every expense you've incurred on your infertility journey is a tax write-off. That includes things like over-the-counter vitamins or procedures not prescribed by your doctor, like non-medical 3D ultrasounds. 

Additionally, any expenses covered by insurance or other reimbursement programs are not eligible for tax deductions. It's also worth noting that there are certain limits to what you can deduct. For example, you can only deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your AGI. So, if your AGI is $50,000 and you spent $3,500 on fertility treatments, you cannot deduct any of those expenses since they are less than 7.5% of your AGI.

Other ways to save money on fertility treatments

Saving receipts and compiling them during tax time is only one of the ways you can save money on fertility treatments.

  • Insurance coverage: Some fertility treatments may be covered depending on your insurance plan. However, coverage can vary widely depending on the plan and the state you live in, so it's important to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered and what is not. In addition, call your insurance provider to see if they cover certain procedures, as well as what fertility clinics may be in-network. 

  • Fertility financing: Fertility loans can be a great option for families who need help paying for treatment. These loans are specifically designed for fertility treatments and can offer more flexible repayment options than other types of loans. For example, Sunfish offers financial guidance and the widest range of loans and lines of credit to help families pay for fertility treatment.

  • Grants: Many different organizations offer grants to help families pay for fertility treatments. These programs can be competitive and hard to get your hands on, but they can be a great way to reduce the financial costs of fertility treatment. Sunfish also offers a comprehensive fertility grant and discount database.

  • Crowdfunding: This has become a popular way for families to raise funds for fertility treatments. Platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter allow people to create fundraising campaigns and share them on social media to solicit donations.

How to write off fertility treatments on your taxes

In order to write off fertility expenses on your taxes, you must supply the IRS with itemized deductions. This is basically a list of items that are eligible for deduction and it’s where saving all of those receipts pays off (literally).  

Once you've collected all your receipts, head over to the IRS website and fill out IRS Form 1040. You'll need to complete Schedule A on the 1040 form for the itemization. If you have questions or are unsure about anything, be sure to consult with your tax professional before submitting these forms. You never know; it could save you money! 

woman reading her tax statement

The TL;DR 

Here's the deal: if you've been struggling with infertility and have had to pay for fertility treatments like IVF, the good news is you can deduct some of those expenses from your taxes. This is because the IRS understands that these treatments can be super expensive, and they want to help you offset some of the costs. Of course, this has some rules and limitations, but if you meet the criteria, you could save some serious cash in the long run.  

So, don't let the high cost of fertility treatments stress you out too much — there's a chance you could get some of that money back! And as for the remaining balance, we’re thankful there are companies like Sunfish out there to help you make the best possible financial decisions on your fertility journey and connect you with financing options and loans to make parenthood more financially attainable. Sunfish helps you build your finances so you can work on what’s most important: growing your family.

Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.