4 Ways Your Pet Related Expenses Are Tax Deductible

Posted by: Brookside Admin

If you're an animal lover, you've no doubt lamented the fact that the IRS doesn't consider your beloved pets as dependents. Unfortunately, that's can be a hefty bill that isn't tax deductible. In 2015 alone, it's estimated that pet owners spent about $60-billion on their furry friends. On the bright side, there are actually some pet-related write-offs you can claim on your next tax return. Here are some examples. 

  • Medical expenses

Don't get overly excited. This refers to your own medical expenses, not your pet's. In order to claim a deduction for your medical costs, you need to spend more than 10-percent of your adjusted gross income. If you have reduced hearing or vision that requires the use of a guide or service dog, the expense related to that can contribute to your total medical expenses. That includes the cost of buying, training and maintaining the dog. In this specific situation, veterinary bills, food expenses and grooming costs would all be deductible. This would also include a certified therapy animal. 

  • Business expense

There are a variety of businesses that may require an animal to be a part of your staff. Almost any business could employ a guard dog, however. And, the expenses related to that animal could be used as a business deduction. You can't simply bring your dog to work and claim all of its expenses, however. The animal has to be necessary and you'll need to keep detailed records of their hours on the job and how they've helped your business. For the specific purpose of guard dogs, the IRS is more likely to accept your claim if it's a typical breed known for protecting property like a german shepard or doberman. 

  • Moving costs

This may be the most typical pet related deduction because it is easy to claim and could apply to any pet owner. Moving costs are an above the line deduction, which means you don't have to itemize to claim them. Part of your moving costs, if you're moving out of state, may be to relocate your pet. That could require kenneling costs, and special transportation. All of that can be lumped in with your other typical moving costs and claimed on your taxes. 

  • Hobby expenses

If you have a regular hobby, the expenses related to it can be itemized with other miscellaneous deductions. These expenses need to total more than 2-percent of your gross adjusted income in order to make a difference on your taxes, however. If you're dedicated to a hobby like showing your dog, it may be worth it to save receipts. The grooming, travel and other related expenses may be enough to gain a deduction. 

While your pet isn't directly tax deductible, there are many scenarios that allow you to claim a deduction from expenses related to them. 

For help finding these hidden deductions, call us at Brown Kinion and Company. Our experienced CPAs offer advice and planning services to ensure you get the tax refund you deserve