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Old 07-09-2013, 08:43 AM   #61
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How would you provide evidence that you used cloth primarily or exclusively to support taking the credit?
Buying them is different than using them and if all it does is encourage buying of questionable china cheapies, not sure that's beneficial.maybe a charity that takes cloth donations and distributes to low income who want to and are able to use cloth might be a better way to address the concern?
Law-wise lobbists are quite powerful and many congresspersons want less regulation not more.

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:48 AM   #62
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

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In minnesota we already technically get a tax credit. There is sales tax on disposable diapers but no sales tax on clothes, and cloth diapers are considered clothes.
Yes, true.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #63
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

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Since household waste disposal is usually a local matter, a "pay as you throw" program would address the overall use of disposable products, including diapers. Unfortunately, pay as you throw systems tend to increase illegal dumping. Every thing is a trade off.

If you want to change state law, contact your local state house representative or state senator. You can also try to work through your local city/county to lobby your state legislature. Most municipalities have a lobbyist working in the state capital to push legislation that is favorable to that city/county. If you want to see a change in what is and isn't taxed, I'd go this route. Otherwise, people will just drive to the Walmart in the next county to avoid the tax.

If federal intervention is your preference, lobbying to include cloth diapers as a flexible spending account eligible item would probably be your best bet. The IRS sets the rules for medical FSAs, and those rules are reviewed and adjusted for each tax year on administrative level. Since getting a rule change is a lot less trouble than trying to get a law passed, the IRS might be your first stop for a lobbying effort. (Call your nearest IRS office to find out to whom your letters should be directed.)

The downside of an FSA is that only those whose employers offer an FSA option as part of their benefits package would have the opportunity to take advantage. However, if you were to succeed, a tax credit would probably only affect those who itemize anyway. (For example, we never benefited from the mortgage deduction because the standard deduction was always greater than our itemized deductions.)
I agree with you on the rule change. I think this would be amazing. Obviously as you stated it would hinder the people who's employers don't offer FSA as an option. The meaning and usage of the FSA funds would have to completely change though since cloth diapers would then have to be deemed a "medical expense" unless you are trying to change the whole definition of what FSA funds should apply to. The lingering issue with that would be that many doctors(and people in the medical field as a whole) are still ignorant and do not seem to agree with the usage of cloth diapers, so who would define it as a medical necessity to be able to relate it to a medical expense?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:01 AM   #64
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

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Well I may be crazy....but I believe cloth users should get a tax rebate (cost of cloth diapers) for saving our environment? Similar to solar panels or other energy saving tax credits.

40 years ago almost all of America used cloth diapers. Half of our landfills today and filled with disposable diapers. Americans pick up dog and cat poo all the time but seem grossed out by baby poo? What is wrong with this picture?

I believe we need an extra tax on disposable diapers too - to encourage more families to use cloth. Like a bottle deposit tax but on disposables. It will help to offset some of the country's economic and green problems.

I also believe wic mothers should be given a stash of econobums or similar cloth diapers and maybe a laundry mat card similar to food stamp cards. Having a baby is hard work and diapering is just a job that comes along with being a parent.

Am I crazy? I honestly think having a baby (like having a dog) requires hard work and yes cloth is harder but it is very doable. Cloth products are 100% better than 40 years ago and rich disposable companies (pampers, huggies) are brainwashing people into thinking cloth is so gross and old school. These companies get rich and our environment gets ruined.

We need to change the way Americanís think to save our environment. Convince me Iím right or wrong.
I haven't read all the responses yet. I did want to comment that my WIC lady gave me 2 dozen osocozy infant prefolds and 1 cover. I don't remember the brand of the cover. It was really sweet of her as I think she bought them out of her own pocket.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:25 AM   #65
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

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I totally agree with this. Maybe it should be on how many diapers you use and it would adjust accordingly. So if I use ten cloth diapers in rotation my tax break would be less then someone who uses 20 because they spent more initially.

But you get a tax break or having energy efficient appliances and lightbulbs why not diapers!

And making those on wic wic use them is great too. It would help if they had a low income. Try could borrow them from wic like you can borrow a breast bump.
Making people use something just because they are poor is essentially going to make many look upon them as for poor people. Not to mention many poor people use laundry mats. This often makes cloth more expensive than sposies thereby making cloth diapering a financial burden. Sure they can hand wash. Go ahead then and hand wash for the next 6 months plus try working or going to school at the same time.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:40 AM   #66
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

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I agree with you on the rule change. I think this would be amazing. Obviously as you stated it would hinder the people who's employers don't offer FSA as an option. The meaning and usage of the FSA funds would have to completely change though since cloth diapers would then have to be deemed a "medical expense" unless you are trying to change the whole definition of what FSA funds should apply to. The lingering issue with that would be that many doctors(and people in the medical field as a whole) are still ignorant and do not seem to agree with the usage of cloth diapers, so who would define it as a medical necessity to be able to relate it to a medical expense?
Breast pumps are now eligible for FSA reimbursement, yet they wouldn't traditionally be considered a "medical expense." If you can convince the IRS that this is a similar item/concept, then you are good to go.

Personally, I don't really have an opinion. But I've done a lot of research on FSAs because of the little smush on the way, and I know a few things about lobbying because of DH's job. Since I never pass up the opportunity to be a self-important know-it-all, I just couldn't help but grace everyone with my expertise.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #67
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

I agree with a tax break I am just wondering how they could make it work..? I like that someone mentioned bio degradable disposables being the only ones made and sold for disposable options.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:18 PM   #68
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

Tax credit for using cloth would be awesome!
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:18 PM   #69
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Re: tax rebate/credit for cloth...join me in writing congress

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Originally Posted by IndoorKitty View Post
Breast pumps are now eligible for FSA reimbursement, yet they wouldn't traditionally be considered a "medical expense." If you can convince the IRS that this is a similar item/concept, then you are good to go.

Personally, I don't really have an opinion. But I've done a lot of research on FSAs because of the little smush on the way, and I know a few things about lobbying because of DH's job. Since I never pass up the opportunity to be a self-important know-it-all, I just couldn't help but grace everyone with my expertise.
LOL! I like your opinion & happen to agree with it wholeheartedly. The thing with breast pumps though is that it was argued that they could be qualified as "medical equipment" along the lines of hearing aids etc. which would typically qualify for FSA due to medical necessity. The IRS is as stingy as they come so while the concept is ideal finding that grey area is definitely key. The only ones who I know cover cloth diapers as a medical necessity are both Medicare and Medicaid but of course this is related to the condition of the patient.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #70
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