Happy National Pet Day! Ever wondered if you could get some tax savings from being a pet owner? Well as much as you consider your furry friends like family, the IRS says you can’t claim them as dependents. (Sad news to me as this year we’ve had some particularly big veterinarian bills taking care of one of our cats.)
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t tax deductions you can take. In fact there are ways you can get some savings, provided you meet the IRS criteria. Curious? Let me tell you about the financial benefits of being a foster parent (in addition to the love and joy you receive from saving a life).
Fostering a Dog: Doing Good for Others and Self
Maybe you and your family want to open up your hearts and become a foster pet parent. If you work with a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, you may be able to deduct your expenses as a charitable contribution. That means that your veterinarian visits, pet supplies, food, and other related expenses could qualify. Don’t forget to keep track of your mileage (provided the trip is for the organization).
As always, make sure you keep careful records and receipts of your expenses. If your expenses are over $250, request an acknowledgement from the charitable organization. TurboTax ItsDeductible will value and track your donations so you have them all together when it comes time to file your taxes.
Another situation where you may be able to deduct expenses is if your furry friend is a service animal. You must register your pet with a legitimate agency to prove that it is a service animal and not just a pet.
If you have a guard dog to protect your business you may be able to claim some of the costs as a business expense. You can deduct expenses such as training and veterinarian care, but like service dogs, you need an agency to declare the four legged protector a guard dog.
I hope that helps you decide if you have some legitimate tax deductions when you file your taxes. If not, just know that your pet appreciates the love and care you show them, even if they don’t say it.