Are Pets & Pet Supplies Deductible?

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Deducting pets and pet supplies is not very common, but the IRS allows these write-offs in certain cases.
Deducting pets and pet supplies is not very common, but the IRS allows these write-offs in certain cases.

If you’ve ever owned a dog, a cat, a bird, or any other domesticated creature, you know full well how expensive a furry friend can be. Not only are some pets pricey when you get them, but also there are countless ongoing expenses you’ll incur throughout the life of the animal. So this “begs” the question: are pets and pet supplies tax deductible?

IRS Rules on Pet Deductions

Animals and the expenses attached to them are tax deductible in very specific business-related cases. For instance, if a canine is used as a guard dog for a place of business, the expenses related to the dog’s time on the job could be deductible. However, there are stipulations with this. The dog must be used to guard the people and any inventory stored at a business location. Guard dogs should be properly registered and trained to qualify as a write-off. They should also be larger breeds, such as a German Shepherd or Doberman. A more common pet deduction opportunity involves moving. If you move to a new place for work purposes, your pet can be included with your other personal property and therefore can be deducted when writing off your moving expenses.

U.S. Tax Court Rulings on Pet Deductions

Attempts at deducting pet food have actually made their way to the federal tax court. In the case of Seawright v. Commissioner, the U.S. Tax Court ruled in favor of a couple who owned a junkyard and put out cat food to attract feral cats to it. Not only did the cats come to feast, but also they took care of the snake and rodent problem there, which was an improvement for the business. The court said that the couple could deduct the money it spent on cat food.

Deducting Expenses for Service Animals

Although they aren’t really considered pets, the IRS does allow owners of service animals to deduct certain expenses by including them with their medical expenses. Blind or physically challenged individuals who use service animals can write off the purchase price of the animal, along with veterinarian expenses, food, grooming, and other necessary care costs.

Importance of Recordkeeping for Tax Deductions

Much like oddball deduction requests that the IRS must debunk each year, proving why a deduction should be allowed is critical. This usually involves providing proper expense documentation. This is why pet and pet supply deductions are often difficult to get approved since it can be challenging to convince the IRS that an animal is a necessary part of a business or individual’s life. The bottom line is that you should clearly document how this is taking place and what your expenses are to have the best chance of getting a deduction.

To help reduce your IRS tax bill through pet deductions and other tax-saving strategies, call 1-800Accountant today at 1-800-222-6868, or click over to the “Services” page on www.1-800Accountant.

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