April 18 is the deadline to get your 2016 taxes filed. Doing your taxes can be complicated, and you don't want to miss out on any deductions that'll score you a bigger refund. If you've currently expecting, you may be asking yourself, "can I claim a dependent if I'm pregnant?"
Let's start off with what claiming a dependent actually means, for people like me who are helpless when it comes to understanding tax stuff. According to TurboTax, if you claim a child as a dependent, the IRS gives you an exemption that reduces what you owe in taxes. (This can increase your odds of getting a refund — sweet, right?) The IRS noted that a dependent can be your biological child, a stepchild, a foster child, even siblings, as adult relatives who you support and who live with you can also be claimed as dependents. Normally, any child you claim as a dependent needs to live with you for at least half of the year you're filing for.
So what about your unborn baby, who lives inside your belly? Unfortunately, you can't claim them as a dependent. According to E-File, your baby must be born first before you can claim him or her as a dependent. Since taxes due this month are for 2016, only babies born in that year can be claimed. It doesn't matter whether someone gave birth on January 1 or December 31 — they get the same tax break no matter what.
There is one thing you can do while pregnant to try and get some money back on your taxes, however. You'll want to itemize your out-of-pocket costs for medical care during your pregnancy. According to TurboTax, the IRS will let you deduct some of those expenses from your income tax. Although you may think birth is the big ticket item in terms of cost, think of how many check-ups and sonograms and tests you go in for over the course of 40 weeks. When I added up the numbers for my pregnancy, I realized that I'd spent a few thousand dollars.
If trying to figure out exactly what you can and can't deduct on your taxes has got your head spinning, you may want to give yourself a little more time to sort it all out. Although April 18 is the deadline, filing for an extension is pretty simple according to Yahoo! Finance. All you have to do is go to the IRS website and fill out this form, and you'll get an extra six months to get your taxes done.