Stillborn Tax Credit
Losing a child is a tragic event. This session, I'm working on a bill to help those parents deal with the expenses associated with losing a child.
In Wisconsin, new parents receive a tax credit to help with the costs of childbirth. As any parent can tell you, this $1,000 tax credit covers only part of the expenses related to childbirth. However, if a child is stillborn in Wisconsin, parents are not eligible for this tax credit. Parents of a child who dies shortly after birth are eligible for this deduction, along with other benefits like maternity leave, insurance-covered autopsies, and bereavement leave.
A stillborn child is defined in statute as a miscarriage that occurs after at least 20 weeks of gestation. Parents of stillborn children undergo many, if not all, the same medical costs that parents of a healthy newborn child undergo. Yet, our tax code does not currently aid these bereaved parents simply because their child did not take his or her first breath.
My bill corrects this inequality in our tax code by creating a $2,000 refundable tax credit for the parents of a stillborn child. The stillborn tax credit is more than the new parent tax credit because even though parents miss work when they have a stillbirth, they may not be eligible for maternity leave. This increased funding is meant to help parents absorb the costs of lost wages for the time missed during the miscarriage and recovery.
While this bill cannot help parents overcome the tragedy of losing their child, it helps lessen the financial burdens incurred for the sole reason that the child was not born alive.