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But, I found some interesting tax write-offs that some dog owners might be able to take!
What follows are actual tax deductions, as quoted by people “in the know” who share their take on tax write-offs as they relate to dogs.
Be sure to talk to your tax preparer regarding these or any new tax deductions and write-offs that might apply to you and your dog(s).
For starters, consider these…
#1 Moving The Family Pet As A Tax Deduction
If you are changing jobs and meet a couple of tests, you can deduct your moving expenses — including the cost of moving your dog, cat or other pet from your old residence to your new home. Your pet — be it a Pekingese or a python — is treated the same as your other personal effects. Source
#2 Guard Dogs As Tax Write-Offs
In order for a dog to qualify as your company’s guard dog, it helps, says Cliff Ennico (a Connecticut-based business attorney who specializes in advising small businesses and entrepreneurs), if you’re a little afraid of the animal yourself (picture a Rottweiler, Pitbull or German Shepherd). Believe it or not, this is a legit write-off if taken correctly. Source
- Expert Opinion: “You’ll only be able to deduct that portion of his or her total time devoted to ‘guard-dog’ duty.”
- How to Do It Right: Though it may seem rather obvious, your dog most also be guarding your inventory. Another interesting tidbit: Though you can deduct expenses relating to the dog, you can’t deduct the dog itself. But you can depreciate it over its expected lifespan as determined by a local breeder. Who would’ve thought?
#3 Tax Deductions For Animal Adoption Fees & Donations
Some adopters may wonder whether the “adoption fee” or “adoption donation” made to a Rescue which has 501c non-profit status can be claimed as a deductible charitable donation on the adopter’s income tax return. The short answer is that an adoption fee or donation made to adopt a dog is almost certainly NOT deductible, but any additional donation made over and above the standard fee almost certainly IS deductible. Source
#4 Pet Food Write-Offs… Under Certain Circumstances
A couple who owned a junkyard were allowed to write off the cost of cat food they set out to attract wild cats. The feral felines did more than just eat. They also took care of snakes and rats on the property, making the place safer for customers. When the case reached the Tax Court, IRS lawyers conceded that the cost was deductible. Source
#5 Seeing-Eye Dog Tax Deductions
You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually impaired or hearing disabled person, or a person with other physical disabilities. In general, this includes any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality of the service animal so that it may perform its duties. Source
#6 Tax Deductions For Canine Sport Leaders
Think: show dog presenters, trial judges, dog agility trainers, among others.
UPDATE: #7 Fostering A Pet Is Now Tax Deductible!
The basic requirements are that the expenses have to be directly related and solely attributable to the rendition of services to a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. In addition, you need to have documentation to support the expenses, and the organization needs to provide written acknowledgement for expenses over $250. Source
A Word Of Warning For Entrepreneurs…
If you’re taking the “home office deduction,” be sure to carefully measure the portion of your office that you use solely for office work.
If you have a desk located in a family room, for example, mixing your business correspondence with your personal mail could cause the deduction to be disallowed. The IRS takes this point very seriously. They once disallowed a home office deduction because they saw a dog’s bowl under the desk in a picture brought in by the taxpayer. Source
Be sure to talk to your tax preparer first before claiming your dog as a tax deduction. Otherwise, you might end up on a list of Funny Dog Deduction Stories next year!
More About Tax Deductions For Dog Owners
- 6 Tax Breaks For Pet Owners
- When Is The Dog Deductible?
- How To Claim Pet Care As A Tax Deduction
- Ways That Your Dog Can Get You A Tax Break
- Are Pet Adoption Fees Deductible?
- 7 Tax Deductions That Are IRS Red Flags
- Tax Tip: Yes, You Can Deduct Your Pet
- Your Animal Shelter Donations Are Tax Deductible
- Animal Shelter Wish Lists
I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 500 articles for dog owners on this site!