It’s that time of year again – taxes.
We all try to find as many deductions as we possibly can, hoping for a substantial refund rather than a bill. Did you know there are situations where you can deduct some of your dog-related expenses on your taxes? The terms are pretty specific, but it’s worth looking into when you visit your accountant next month.
A deduction is allowed when you move from one part of the country to another provided you ship the dog. This deduction is taken on Form 3903 as part of the reasonable moving expenses of the household. Remember, for moving expenses to be allowed a taxpayer must meet the requirements of Form 3903 which include distance, work-related, period, etc.
- Seeing eye dogs and medical alert dogs – must be trained to detect impending seizures, help those with impaired hearing or vision. The key here is “special training” required. Medically necessary dogs are required to be licensed by their owner, require special documentation provided by a doctor and special dog tags. See your tax person for more information.
- Security dogs – must be used as security for a place of business (cannot be a private residence or a hobby farm – true business farms qualify). Must also be a “protection” breed such as the Mastiff puppies for sale at PetCenter stores. You also have to keep accurate records of time spent on the job.
- Dogs trained to find bed bugs – In all of these cases, the cost of buying, training and maintaining the dog is deductible.
Since they are not a service animal, therapy dogs do not qualify for the deductions mentioned above. However, the therapy business may be able to write off mileage as a charitable contribution. This is dependent on the organization’s status with the IRS. If the group you are working with as a therapy team is a registered non-profit, you may qualify.
Dogs used in hobbies such as show dogs or bird hunting may be deductible. If the dog wins prize money in the endeavor than the expenses incurred to train, show, etc., are deductible up to the winnings. To do this, you must be able to file Schedule C.
Fostering or Adoption
Fostering or adopting a dog from a qualified charity may be deductible. If the adoption fee is a donation, it is deductible. However, if it is payment for the dogs care it isn’t.