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“Give me a (tax!) break, please!” Pets as tax deductions? Perhaps…

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Party Marty here! TGIF! It’s been bitterly cold outside, which is all the more reason I can remain one cool cat!  As you have come to know me as a fountain of knowledge, I am going to provide some interesting information on pets as potential tax deductions. With the New Year upon us, I am sure many of you are wrapping up the financial details of 2013 and thinking about getting your taxes in order.  That April 15th due date will be here before you know it.

If you are savvy, you may often find ways to enter IRS-approved tax deductions on your forms. Well, even though you cannot completely write off your pet in the form of a tax deduction (I know, I know…they are your “kids,” but the government does not see it that way!), there may be a few ways to keep some money in your pocket at tax time when it comes to your pets.  While I am not an expert on this subject, as I merely did some basic research, please do not take this information to heart without consulting your tax advisor first. Do not rely on me as the end-all of information here! Yes…I am wise, but take what I say with caution.  As with anything, please do your research.

According to gobankingrates.com, there are possible tax breaks with respect to your pets. Here are just a few:

  • Animal adoption fees:  For the most part, certain donations to non-profit groups such as churches and other charities can be tax deductible. However, if you make a donation to an animal shelter, this is not tax deductible.  Any additional donations, however, can be tax-free. For example, if you adopt a pet that needs a good home, you can welcome your new family member while simultaneously making a tax-deductible gift.
  • Service animals: Typically, seeing-eye dogs and those with special training are tax-exempt. However, this does not apply to training your dog to grab a treat while you are chilling at home. Service dogs are licensed by law with special documentation and neck tags from a doctor. The IRS will most likely require verification of this.
  • Guard dogs: If you have an intimidating breed such as a German Shepherd or Pit Bull and that dog is specifically guarding something, such as a gated home or valuable property, then most likely his services (not the dog!) are tax exempt.

Now…I need to take a break and meditate on how I can be a tax saving pet for my human. There has to be a way….catch you all later!  I’ve got work to do!

 

 

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