Although the status quo of the traditional female caregiver has managed to muddle forward, it may begin to unwind as increasingly capable technologies dislodge humans from full-time employment and compel a redefinition of valuable work. Given this backdrop, this Essay seeks to open a dialogue for developing thoughtful, modem tax policies. Part I outlines the vocational endeavors of historically female community members who serve as caregivers and social volunteers. Next, Part II summarizes the economic value of volunteer and caregiver services. Part III examines whether tax policies should adopt a more expansive definition of beneficial occupations, as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic technologies reconfigure the marketplace. Then, Part IV recommends that policymakers amend the Code to include a refundable tax credit for caregiver and volunteer work. Essentially, this Essay encourages a "multi-faceted" understanding of economic and social roles "so that our human traits (such as courage or care) or callings (such as business leader or stay-at-home parent) are not prescribed by gender or sex." Finally, Part V offers conclusions regarding the consequences of implementing a refundable tax credit for caregiver and volunteer work.
16 Pitt. Tax Rev. 161 (2019).