If you’re the proud owner of a four-legged friend, or a “furbaby” you might be in luck this tax season! When you consider your pet your child, it seems like you should be able to receive similar benefits when it’s tax time. Although you may think the answer is a resounding “No,” it really depends on the situation. Below, we will outline 6 very specific ways you can make dog-related tax deductions.
- Fostering or adoption. You can deduct expenses related to adopting or fostering a dog as long as the charity is qualified and the adoption fee is a donation. Fostering a dog from a qualified charity may also be deductible.
- Working dogs. A “working dog” is defined as one of the following:
a. Seeing eye dogs
b. Security dogs (only used as security for a place of business) and must be a specific breed, for example Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or Doberman. All of these breeds are considered “protection breeds”
c. Medical Alert dogs which have been specially trained to detect a medical problem or emergency. A Medical Alert Dog is licensed, has documentation, and has special tags.
- Moving to a new home. You are allowed to claim a deduction when you move, if you ship the dog. Take a look at Form 3903 – your dog is considered a moving expense of the household. Just make sure you meet all the requirements of Form 3903 before making the claim!
- Therapy dogs. While Therapy dogs do not fit in with “Working dogs”, they still could be eligible for a deduction in the form of mileage as a charitable contribution. This varies from charitable organization to organization.
- Performance dogs. Dogs that are used in hobbies, defined as “an activity entered into for enjoyment without a profit motive,” may be deductible. This is dependent on the cost incurred by participating in the hobby. To gain the benefit of this deduction, you must be able to file Schedule A.
- Breeding. If you breed dogs as a business, it is deductible. You must keep proper records of the business in order to make the deduction.
Remember to always check with a Tax Professional before claiming deductions you aren’t sure about. For help choosing a tax professional, the IRS has created this reference.
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