It makes sense for us pet parents to want to claim our fur babies as dependents during tax season. After all, they’re like our children in so many ways: they must be fed and taken care of despite the fact that they never pay for expenses like rent, toys, or food.
Yet, as much as we love our fur babies like our family members, the IRS doesn’t exactly see things the same way we do. But you may be surprised to learn that there are times when you can write off certain pet-related expenses.
We’ll show you the top five pet deductions you may be able to consider:
Have you adopted an animal from the shelter in the last year?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could write off the expenses associated with adopting a new pet?
Unfortunately, we’re not there yet — but you can write off any additional donations you made above the adoption fees. Just like donating to a charity, your charitable amount must be greater than $250 to be eligible for a write-off, and you can’t have received any goods or services in exchange for the donation.
Have you moved in the last year?
Now, not every move counts, but if you moved at least 50 miles away in the past year for work, you could be entitled to a pet-related tax deduction.
So if you had to make special arrangements for Fido (i.e., you paid for a service to relocate him to your new home), you’ll want to ask your accountant for the proper forms so you can write some of it off.
Does your dog work in show business?
Whether you own a show dog who competes or you operate your own pet sitting business, specific expenses can be deducted just like any other business. Transportation costs (mileage, gas, etc.), poopie bags, litter, or even extra treats can all be considered valid business expenses which qualify for a deduction.
Do you have a guard dog for your business?
If you’ve opted to use a guard dog to protect your business, you may be entitled to deduct the associated expenses related to caring for the pup from your taxes, too.
All you have to do is determine how many hours your dog physically spends guarding your property, and you’ll be able to write off a fraction of their time. Now, to be clear, this is not a deduction that you can use on your personal taxes; it must be associated with your business taxes.
Are you currently using a guide dog?
This same concept holds true for service and guide dogs.
Medical expenses, training, and maintenance costs associated with owning the dog are all eligible for deductions. In this case, you’ll need to be sure that your dog is a certified guide dog and that you have all of your medical records up-to-date and accessible come tax time.
As you can see, it’s still too soon to claim our fur babies as dependents, but these five situations should help you save a little somethin’ come tax time.