Taxes: If I can't abort my fetus because it's a person, should I get to claim it as a dependent?

Wait until the result of the pregnancy becomes an adult and then sue it/he/she for causing you pain and suffering.

I’m intrigued how you think this should work. Are you going to have the IRS investigate if a woman was pregnant during that year? How long does she have to be pregnant for? What if a woman conceives multiple times in a year - does she get multiple deductions?

These are surmountable issues. The IRS already allows people to self-report their children as dependents, and I imagine there are rules in place that address how that works if the child dies during the year, for instance.

I did this. My last trimester when I was past the legal point of abortion (and it was July/August and I was as big as a beached whale). Technically, it wasn’t an HOV lane, it was the carpool entry ramp heading outside downtown Minneapolis. Sitting in the single rider ramp added fifteen minutes of cranky pregnant lady in hot car.

Maybe had I gotten caught they would have written me a ticket. Maybe not (I suspect not). At that point, I’d have been willing to pay the fine.

Not really, you can only claim dependents for which you have a SSN. To get a SSN, you have to have a birth certificate.

I suppose they could change the law in the “a fetus is a person” state to issue a SSN with a certificate of pregnancy from an M.D. However, since so many early pregnancies end in miscarriage, and a SSN would let you write off the child for the next eighteen years - you’d create a fraud loophole. You’d probably want to change the current open ended “we don’t close out SSNs at death” process (they close them out obviously if you are getting benefits, but they don’t really bother for kids not getting benefits) to “have to close out SSNs and follow up to make sure pregnancy results in live birth.”

Given that you’d be criminalizing abortion, you’d want to follow up on miscarriages anyway, so adding the part of the process where a miscarriage results in a death certificate filed with the state probably wouldn’t be a huge deal.

I’m not going to get into the whole abortion debate, because I think the whole debate is stupid and I don’t care much one way or the other. But the whole dependents’ deduction isn’t about personhood. It’s about dependency. It’s the IRS realizing that having people dependent on you inflicts a financial cost, and that we want to encourage people to raise their kids, so we offer a deduction. If being pregnant does carry a significant financial cost, and we decide we want to encourage pregnancy, then extending a deduction makes sense, even though we’d have to tighten it up to prevent fraud, I think.

The whole “it’s less expensive to support a breast fed baby than his 5 year old brother” thing is true, but that’s putting complexities into the tax code that neither the IRS or the filer really should have to deal with. A standard deduction just makes more sense, regardless of specific circumstances.

I’d like to see a cite for the SSN thing. I didn’t get one until I was about 10.

But that might explain why Obama was never claimed as a dependent on anyone’s tax returns.,,id=96696,00.html

This has changed in the past - twenty? - years. When most of us were kids, your parents could just claim you. The IRS started requiring numbers, and apparently, at that point, the number of dependents being claimed drastically dropped. Disappearing Dependents |

Mostly, but not always. Specifically,in the case of a child who was born and died within the year before obtaining an SSN , you attach a copy of the birth or death certificate or hospital record to the tax return. No reason that doctors couldn’t issue a “fetus certificate” to avoid issuing SSn to fetuses.

It’s really about who the law determines is a dependent. And those who take the position that the fetus is a person are certainly free to advocate that the law be changed to require the IRS to treat a fetus the same as a one year old.

And it is too complex to decide how much each individual person costs to support.

However, you misunderstand me. I am not advocating that fetuses be eligible for exemptions at this point in time . I have no problem with the government/laws using live birth as an arbitrary dividing line. I am simply stating that if someone believes that a fetus is a person, and that abortion is murder, then that person should logically be in favor of tax exemptions for fetuses , counting fetuses when determining SSD benefits and eliminating any laws (such as inheritance laws) which treat a fetus ultimately born live from one which is not. They should also logically be in favor of arresting women who have abortions and investigating suspicious miscarriages. However, IME, they do none of those things. They never mention taxes or government benefits, and they often outright say that only the doctors should be prosecuted and of course miscarriages won’t be investigated.

This of course only applies to those who believe that abortion should be legal because a fetus is a person, and not to those who have other reasons.

So surmount them. How long does someone need to be pregnant for before they get the deduction? Whatcheck should be used to see it someone actually was pregnant? Multiple pregnancies presumably should get multiple deductions - what method are we using to determine that?

Yeah, I should have been more exact. Generally a SSN is required. At the very least, you’ll need some sort of paperwork in order to ensure that fraud is not committed, and the paperwork itself should be official. I do something more than simply a doctor’s fetus certificate - i.e. a birth certificate and a death certificate need to be filed with a courthouse. And a SSN gets issued by the federal government.

Should be “illegal” , of course

Ah, nothing like Junior HS caliber sarcasm elevate the discourse.

How about a doctor’s report (post card sized hand written letterhead document
will do fine) if birth has not yet occurred, and a birth certificate (Hawaiian short
form Certification of Live Birth or the equivalent will do fine) if birth has occurred?

No time limit.

Yes, to start off with.

It might turn out that a lot of people try to game the sytem by falsely claiming
serial pregnancies followed by serial miscarriages. Therefore a limit might have
to be placed on the number of deductible pregnancies allowed.

Presumably if the anti-abortion forces were to win, the sensible thing to do would be to issue SSNs upon confirmation of conception. Miscarriages would simply be processed as deaths.

[sarcasm] I believe life begins at the point of sexual arousal![/sarcasm]

If the only point you want to make is “pro-lifers are hypocrites” or something like that, that’s not really a discussion I think worth having. It’s just a way to slam pro-lifers and not really a debate. If you want to have a discussion on the feasibility of allowing special tax deductions to pregnant women, though, that’s another story.

I doesn’t matter to me which way it goes but I believe the tax deduction for fetuses should be the same as for Siamese twins. Siamese twins get multiple deductions as far as I know but it would be OK if you just lump them together if you do that for pregnant women as well. I am more about logical consistency than raw dollars generated.

There’s no sarcasm involved whatsoever. I simply don’t think you can make such an idea work.

Don’t a majority of conceptions (remembering back to high school biology) never actually result in an implanted fertilized egg? Are you going to have a doctor’s report on every heavy period?

So as long as there is conception, you get the deduction for the year…

It isn’t about gaming the system. It’s about the stupidity of using conception as a definition of life…

I spent (okay…we spent…) $$$$$$$$$$$$ while I was pregnant. :shock: Holy smokes, the things that go into preparing for a baby are nuts. The things that you buy to take care of a baby after birth is nuts.

All right. Since that flies in the face of everything that is a woman’s right to choose, why don’t we just calculate the credit if the child was in fact carried to full term? If a woman is considered to be a parent after xyz month (say: sixth), then, well, hell yes, let’s treat her as such.