Many view pets as part of their family and essential to their happiness and mental health. Pets can be an added expense as they may need special diets. Or even require veterinary services, and in some cases, pet daycare.
Pets are not considered dependents when it comes to taxes. However, if your pet plays a specific role in your health and well-being, you may be able to deduct some expenses. You must classify your pet and have documentation to claim the deductions if they serve a specific purpose:
If you have a disability and rely on a service animal, you may be able to deduct certain expenses, such as:
- Vet expenses
According to the IRS, “a service animal is any guide dog, signal dog or other animal trained to assist a person with a disability. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task of a trained service animal must be directly related to the person’s disability.” You can read more about how the IRS classifies services animals and what you can deduct .
If you care for a foster animal, you can deduct the expenses related to their care as a charitable donation. However, you must be a care provider for a non-profit animal shelter or rescue organization. While most shelters provide food, supplies, and vet care. But any expenses you incur above what they supply may be eligible for deduction. Visit with your tax professional if this is your situation.
Guard dogs and pest control cats
If you have a business that utilizes guard dogs or pest control cats, you may be eligible to deduct food and vet expenses. But you must prove that the animal is essential to your business model. For example, if you own a bakery, a cat can help ensure mice are not inside your bakery, impacting food safety and your profits.
Here are tax deductions you may be eligible to take for this year:
1. Service & Emotional Support Animal Tax Deduction
You may be able to claim a dog as a medical expense if the dog performs specific actions such as guiding a blind person, alerting a deaf person, assisting with mobility issues, protecting the person during a medical condition, or you have a diagnosed and diagnosed emotional or mental condition where a service animal provides emotional support.
2. Tax deductions for working animals
If a pet performs a specific job for your business, you may be able to claim your pet as a business expense. Remember that the pet must be essential to business operations. Keep all receipts for anything that pertains to your pet’s care, and work with your tax professional to determine which receipts you can deduct as a business expense.
3. Tax deductions for charitable animal organizations
To take a tax deduction for donations to a pet charity, you must itemize your deductions, and the charity must be a 503(c) organization. Talk to your tax professional to determine how your donations may impact your taxes.
You must work with your tax professional before tax time if you have a pet that falls under these categories to take advantage of the tax deductions.
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Our family financial services firm, August H. Velten & Associates, has been in business for 12-years in Melbourne, FL. August Velten (CLU) is a 40-year veteran of the Financial Services industry. August is a former instructor for the Life Underwriter Training Council and once occupied the legislative seat for the Maine Association of Life Insurers. In Brevard County, you may have seen him on local access TV or read one of his articles in a local area magazine. Jessica Waterhouse, August’s daughter, left her own practice to join the firm in 2019. Jessica is a Florida licensed insurance producer, securities licensed (Series 65), a long term care specialist (CLTC) and holds certification as a National Social Security Advisor. Both August & Jessica are instructors for financial literacy workshops in both Brevard and Indian River County offering education in Social Security and Financial Planning. Contact the office today to schedule an introductory meeting or review of your current financial plan.
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