Paul L. Caron

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Holcomb & Byrn: Taxing Gestational Surrogacy

Morgan Holcomb (Hamline) & Mary Patricia Byrn (William Mitchell) have published When Your Body is Your Business, 85 Wash. L. Rev. 647 (2010). Here is the abstract:

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.

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