Moms-to-Be Aim for Tax-Break Babies

Doctors work overtime to deliver babies before New Year

Mothers-to-be across North Texas were hoping to deliver their newborns by midnight Wednesday -- to save money.

Kim Knutsen said she knew all along that her daughter, Kaylee Sierra, would be delivered via C-section, but her original due date was not until Jan. 2.

"We were talking about it, and she said, 'Let's squeak this in at the end of the year. We can get you in that tax break.' So I said, 'Absolutely,'" Knutsen said. 

She is among the growing number of women trying to squeeze in the birth of their newborns before Jan. 1, and for good reason. 

The government gives parents the same tax deduction -- $3,500 -- regardless of when the baby is born. That can mean $800 to $1,000 dollars in savings on a tax bill.

Most insurance premiums also reset at the beginning of the year, so it all adds up, said Jim Smith, a certified public accountant with Dallas-based Smith, Jackson, Boyer and Bovard, P.L.L.C. 

"Total economics of this could be several thousand dollars," he said.

That means doctors such as Dr. Liesl Smith at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas are working overtime onNew Year's Eve.

"I've actually had two deliveries today," Smith said. "I'm about to do another, and I'm helping a co-worker with another one later today, so it's a busy day."

Doctors at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas say inductions and planned births are not for everyone, but are generally medically appropriate and safe if a woman is 39 weeks along or further.

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