Friday, December 21, 2018

Michigan Legislature Paves New Way to Revive Stillborn Child Tax Credit

The Michigan Legislature has sent a bill to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk that allows parents to claim a stillborn child as an exemption on their state income taxes. The bill received unanimous support in both chambers.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “This bill cannot take away the grief from the loss of a child, but it will help with the financial burdens of a stillbirth.”

The Stillborn Child Tax Equity bill is similar to legislation passed in 2006 that gave a tax credit to parents of a stillborn child. That tax credit was eliminated in 2011, along with many other tax credits.

HB 4522 allows families that experience a stillbirth after 20 weeks to claim the child as a deduction on their state income taxes in the year of the stillbirth. The parents will need a certificate of stillbirth provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The one-time deduction is intended to help families cover the costs of prenatal care or possible funeral arrangements.

Listing said, “Miscarriage and stillbirth are difficult topics for our society to address. Because they aren’t discussed often, the costs associated with them can be overlooked. Parents of a stillborn child who died a day before birth should be treated the same as parents of a child who died a day after birth.”

HB 4522 was passed unanimously by the Michigan House on April 11. It was passed unanimously by the Michigan Senate on December 20, and the House concurred to changes on December 21.

Background Information:
HB 4522