Sunday, March 20, 2011
Holcomb & Byrn: Taxing Gestational Surrogacy
Surrogacy in the United States is a multi-million dollar industry in which well paid professionals seek out highly specialized women to fulfill the difficult job of being a surrogate. Surrogates enter lengthy contracts in which they agree, in intricate detail, to provide a service for significant compensation -- surrogates are paid well over $22 million dollars a year. This article argues that surrogates are also professionals in this for-profit industry and are required to report surrogacy compensation as income. As a corollary, surrogates may deduct most of their surrogacy related expenses as business deductions. Being a surrogate is a highly personal service and the expenses the surrogate incurs -- such as for maternity clothes or medical care -- are typically seen as nondeductible personal ones, but when your body is your business, the personal is business.