Thursday, March 26, 2015

Deduct Pet Expenses On My Tax Return

The IRS doesn't consider your pet a member of the family.

You may look on your dog or cat as a member of the family, but the Internal Revenue Service doesn't feel the same way. Despite the sometimes high cost of providing food, shelter and medical care for Rover or Fluffy, you can't deduct these expenses from your taxes. You may be able to deduct expenses related to the upkeep of other animals that may provide the companionship and affection of pets, but that don't primarily function as pets.

Breeding Animals

If you breed poodles for profit, the IRS doesn't consider these animals pets. You can use the costs of caring for breeding animals in a kennel to offset the income you realize from selling their offspring. Be prepared to demonstrate that you're engaged in raising animals for profit, not merely as a hobby. While you may be able to justify a loss periodically, losing money every year may cause the IRS to rule your breeding operation is a hobby, not a business, and to disallow the deductions.

Assistance Animals

Costs of caring for a seeing eye dog or other assistance animal qualify as medical expenses, according to the IRS. You may deduct the portion of your medical expenses that exceeds 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. The animal must be certified as an assistance animal, and you must be able to demonstrate that you have a disability or medical condition that requires the use of such an animal.

Working Animals

If you're an exterminator with a beagle that sniffs out termites, or a police officer whose canine partner lives with you at home, you may be able to deduct costs for their care as business or work-related expenses on your taxes. You must be able to show that the animal is necessary for your job or for producing income. Your case will be stronger if the animal has special training related to its function in your business, such as the termite-sniffing dog or a canine police officer.

Family Pets

No matter how much you spend for medical care, boarding, food or other expenses for your beloved pet, the IRS will not allow you to deduct these expenses from your taxes. You may look on your pet as a child, but only children with Social Security numbers qualify as dependents in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service.

Tags: your taxes, able deduct, animal must, assistance animal, deduct these