Three Ways Your Pets Could Potentially Lead to Tax Deductions

Posted on: 20 January 2017

Wouldn't it be nice if you could count your pets as dependents? After all, they certainly depend on you -- an ill pet can easily cost as much as a child. Unfortunately, pets aren't considered necessities by the Internal Revenue Service (even though they might feel that way to us). Because of that, there are very few pet-related costs that can actually be tax deducted. If you want to get the most out of your deductions, you're going to have to focus on these three issues. 

Get Your Pet Some Work-Related Training

No, you can't deduct obedience classes. But if your pet is trained to perform actual work, then your pet becomes a business expense. Pets that herd or even provide companion activity for herd animals will become part of your business. That even counts for dogs that are trained to provide security, as long as they are at the location of your business.

Work-related deductions apply to all pets. Trained service dogs are actually a medical expense and thus can be deducted. It may be slightly more complicated in terms of an emotional support animal. You may want to consult with professional tax preparation service like Hough & Co CPA to make sure that your pet qualifies.

Deduct Your Pet's Moving Expenses

When you move, one of the most expensive items may actually be moving your pets. Flying pets or having pets travel by train can both cost even more than transporting a person. Though you can't deduct standard pet-related expenses, you can add it to the cost of your moving expenses. Moving expenses are generally deductible any time you are moving to for the greater benefit of your career.

Write Off Pet-Related Donations

If you got your pet from a shelter, it's more than likely that you may have donated to that shelter. You may have even attended fundraising events. If your shelter is a 501(3)c charity, you can deduct all of the donations -- including the value of donations such as toys, cat litter, and dog treats.

In general, your pet-related expenses shouldn't alter your tax return very much. But it's still something that you should consider if you're trying to whittle down a too-high tax bill. Naturally if your pet is trained to do specific work or perform specific tasks, then they will be in a separate classification system. Otherwise you'll need to rely upon specific actions such as moving to trigger tax savings.