Thursday, January 28, 2010
This Article frames a discussion of surrogacy within the context of existing income tax laws. A surrogate receives money for carrying and bearing a child. This payment is income by any definition, even if the surrogacy contract recites that it is a “reimbursement.” Cases and rulings on the income tax consequences of the sale of blood and human breast-milk, as well as analogies to situations in which people are paid to wear advertising on their bodies, support the conclusion that a surrogate recognizes taxable income, although the IRS has never stated so. The Article considers, and then rebuts, privacy-based objections to a surrogacy tax. Disclosure of income from surrogacy is a reasonable consequence of the freedom to engage in that activity. For tax purposes, the reproductive labor of surrogacy is work. The federal government should take steps to increase tax compliance.