Wondering if there are any dog tax deductions you might qualify for?
With tax season just around the corner, I know I’ve been wondering the same thing, too.
While you can’t claim your dog as a dependent, there are a couple of ways they can help lower your tax bill.
Let’s check them out!
Content & Quick Navigation
Dog Tax Deductions You May Be Able to Take
Okay, first things first: I am not a tax specialist. I’m not an accountant.
I did do a lot of research to find you the answer to your dog tax deduction questions, but since I’m not a pro, I recommend you talk to one before taking these deductions.
Another thing: tax law changes like every five minutes, so what you can deduct today may not be deductible tomorrow. That’s why you need to talk to a pro!
Okay? Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started.
1. Your dog is part of your business
According to Nolo, If your dog is a part of your business, you may be able to deduct certain expenses related to caring for him on your taxes.
- Farm dogs who herd sheep
- Guard dogs
- Breeding dogs (only legit breeders, NOT puppy mill backyard breeders)
In these instances, you may be able to claim a deduction for expenses directly related to your dog’s work for your business.
However, your dog “depreciates” in value over 7 years. I despise the way that sounds, but it’s the IRS’ language, not mine.
2. Your dog is part of your medical expenses
Service and therapy dogs may be tax-deductible as part of your medical expenses, according to IRS Publication 502.
Typically, you can deduct their food, vet bills, and other necessary expenses.
Your dog must be registered as a service dog and you must actually have a medical condition that benefits from a service dog.
Basically, you can’t just say “I need my dog, ergo I can claim my dog,” as an emotional support animal doesn’t count in most cases.
3. You moved with your dog this year
Moving expenses are tax-deductible in some cases, as long as they weren’t reimbursed by an employer.
For example, if you move for a job and your employer pays for it, you can’t claim it.
In the case of your dog, if you needed to make special arrangements to move him, you might be able to deduct those as part of your moving expenses.
4. You gave more than the adoption fee
Charitable contributions are still tax deductible, but the law says that you can’t claim something as “charitable” if you get something in return.
So basically, you can’t claim your dog’s adoption fee.
However, if your adoption fee was $250 and you gave $300, you can claim that extra $50. You can also claim donations of goods.
So say you bought a case of canned dog food for $50. Your dog ate one can and hated it, so you gave it to the local shelter (and get a receipt in return).
You can deduct the value of the donation ($50 minus the value of that one missing can) under the same laws that govern other charitable contributions.
5. Your dog is a foster dog
If you’re fostering a dog for an approved charity, you can claim the expenses related to caring for that dog.
Just keep in mind that the charity must be recognized by the IRS, and it must be a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Deductible expenses may include: food, vet bills, crates, and the cost of transporting the dog to a new home.
These are really the dog tax deductions that I could find. You can’t claim your pup as a dependent, so don’t even try it. True story: back in the 80s, my mom dated a guy who did that!
He got in a lot of trouble when the IRS found out! Of course, he had many other issues that were worse than writing off his dog.
Even for the tax deductions that you can take, there are limitations. For example, while you may be able to write off food, you can’t really write off those 700 toys that you bought Fido this year.
As I said, I’m not an accountant. Your best bet is to talk to a professional about the tax deductions that you qualify for, both dog-related and otherwise.
Have you ever qualified for dog tax deductions? Do you know of any that I missed? Share below!