The article below is up to date based on the latest tax laws. It is accurate for your 2019 taxes (filed in 2020) and 2018 taxes, which should be filed by the April 15th, 2019 (or October 2019 with filed extension) deadline.
Do you give donations and/or volunteer at your local non-profit animal shelter? Keep any related receipts and letters as you may be able to claim tax deductions for your donations and some expenses of your volunteer work.
Service and Therapy Animals
If your paw-some sidekick is a service animal, such as a guide dog, you can deduct expenses you incurred from buying, training and taking care of him/her. These expenses could include food and vet care (as it relates to your pet’s duties). Please keep in mind that the animal must be trained/certified as a treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition in order for the IRS to approve the tax deduction.
Run a business and have a guard dog? You may be able to deduct expenses such as food and vet visits as business deductions if the dog is used to protect your business. To keep things legitimate, make sure you keep accurate and thorough records of your pet’s working hours on business premises. As weird as it sounds, just like other business deductions, your dog’s value may be depreciated for tax purposes.