Child Care Costs Should Be Taken Off Taxable Income

I am probably the last person to be considered a feminist (I really hate that word), but this issue makes me angry. The Supreme Court here in Israel ruled this past spring that child care costs should be considered a business expense, and taken off a woman’s taxes. The government is now trying to block this, and has tried to pass a bill giving women a small tax break – but without recognizing the full expense.

Female MK’s, and heads of woman’s organizations are angry and fighting back.  (I’d love to know the names of the 19 Ministers who voted for this proposal – and the three who voted against. I think a bit of publicity would do wonders to change their minds! How about it, Tzipi?)

I think it is disgusting that people can have the leasing expense for their company cars taken off their taxable income, but not day care – especially for children under the age of 3! (I speak from experience – we have a company car and the expense – except for part of it – comes off westbankpapa’s income before taxes.)

I personally think that it is better for children for the mother to be home with them when they are young. But if a woman chooses to work outside of the home, the day care expense is a direct result of her working – and should be seen as a legitimate expense. If a company car is regarded as a necessity for a person to get to work – then child care should be seen in the same regard.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jjoe
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 17:34:06

    I think it’s crazy that we, as a society, should encourage parents to not raise their children, especially when they are so young.

    I would do the exact opposite. Childcare is work – very, very important and demanding work which merits payment. A good mother and father can save society millions of dollars.

    Therefore we should be paying parents to stay at home and raise their kids at early ages (say 0-3) instead of telling them (the babies), basically, that we, as parents, do not have the time of day for them.

    I’m sure they can sense what’s going on. even if they can’t articulate it yet.

  2. Raizy
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 18:27:03

    Great post, important issue!
    But I’m wondering- why do you hate the word feminist?

  3. Hope
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 21:15:26

    Well said!!

  4. FlyingBubbie
    Jun 16, 2009 @ 13:01:35

    I’m pretty sure we deducted something like 2K, the maximum you could deduct, here in the USA. But we should be able to deduct a lot more. How far does 2 grand take anyone in the world of childcare?

  5. westbankmama
    Jun 16, 2009 @ 15:30:51

    Jjoe – I agree with you, and I think that it is inexcusable that only women who work outside of the home get a tax break for children under the age of 18. For all of the years that I stayed at home to watch my kids, my husband did not get a break for the children that he was working hard to support.

    Raizy – the word “feminist” makes me think of sourfaced women who blame men for everything wrong in society, and who have a chip on their shoulder the size of New Jersey. Not to mention the fact that they usually have no sense of humor at all, and are are usually the ones who look down on other women who choose to stay at home to watch their kids and not work outside of the home. I know that I am generalizing – but not by much!

    Hope – thank you!

    Flyingbubbie – I have no idea – I made aliyah when my oldest was two (18 years ago) so I am not familiar with the costs in the US.

  6. Raizy
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 00:47:41

    Aww, that’s not true. That image that you have is really stereotypical and outdated. There are lots of different kinds of feminism out there now (including Orthodox feminism), and most don’t involve hating men and looking down on mothers. To me, the word feminist simply connotes someone (male or female) who feels strongly that women should be able to earn the same power, respect, money and consideration that men have always had. It’s about protecting and advancing women’s rights so that we have more choices about how to live our lives.

  7. Raizy
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 11:43:24

    I don’t mean to push the point, but you may want to look at Hirhurim’s new post: “Was Nehama Leibowitz A Feminist?”
    At the end of the post, Rabbi Student writes: “I think in some respects Nehama was a feminist, but in the sense that nowadays almost everyone is. Some feminist attitudes have become so mainstream that they are almost not noticed. Concepts like “equal pay for equal work” are also feminist ideas, and Nehama embraced them just like almost all of us embrace them. However, the ideas that are currently associated with feminism are those that she rejected”.

  8. westbankmama
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 16:24:22

    Raizy – I think your definition describes anyone. Why do I need a label for wanting half the population to have the same “power, respect, money and consideration” that the other half does? Doesn’t that just make me a fair human being?

  9. Gila
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 13:40:38

    Regarding the car leases….

    Whether or not the company or the individual pays the lease costs (if the latter, often out of pre-tax income)–a certain amount is added back into the individual’s taxable income. The reason employers liked this method of compensation is that is is often cheaper than paying additional salary. (Not subject to bituach leumi/ other benefits).

    Is this fair? Well, no, not really. That is why the imputed income amounts added back in are in the process of being inceased incrementally, with the goal being to reduce/eliminate the tax benefit. (process started a couple years ago).

    Regarding daycare–the additional kiddie-tax-credits add up. Furthermore, women get an additional half point just for being female. Not saying that daycare should not be covered, but I do think it bears acknowledgment that women do get some tax breaks, and that this may have been worked into the equation.

    As to whether men should get the points–in any event I am in favor of a married-filing-jointly status for working couples, so that the points go to the filing unit, and not to one or the other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: