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Tax Deductions for Pets

I know that this tip is a little late for tax day this year, but this is something definitely to consider for next year. A friend passed along this article about how a landmark 2011 U.S. tax court decision allows deductions for fostering dogs and cats.

“In Jan Van Dusen v. Commissioner, an Oakland-based cat lady successfully argued that the expense of caring for dozens of stray felines for a local rescue group should be deductible as a charitable contribution.

Any unreimbursed expenses, such as food or medical bills, have to be directly related to animal care, said Richard Panick, a spokesman for the IRS.”

Keeping your receipts is key, and if you claim more than $250 you will need a verification letter from the 501(c)3 organization.

Also good to note for those who raise puppies for service dog organizations, they also qualify for itemized deductions.

And while adoption fees aren’t deductible, if you offer a larger donation than just the adoption fee, that “extra tip” is deductible.

See other pet-related deductibles in this article.

Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com
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Submitted by Sarah | May 3 2013 |

Shared on Foster Dogs NYC - very good to know!

Submitted by Linda McCoy | January 2 2014 |

I wish I could deduct my pet expenses. I don't foster any animals but I currently own 4 cats and 2 dogs I have literally taken off the streets. One of my cats was dumped on an 8 lane freeway. I was going to give him up for adoption but my cousin who lost her entire family over the last 3 years became attached to him. She doesn't have a place to keep him so I agreed to keep him at my house for her. Two of my cats were dumped on my front porch at different times. One of my cats was abandoned in a garage, was taken to a reptile store where she was bottle fed next to 8-10 foot pythons until I talked them into letting me take her. She's still suffering from PTSD, stress cystitis and requires daily medications to keep from bleeding. One of my cats recently was diagnosed with feline leukemia even though she has had her vaccines her entire life and doesn't leave the back yard. This cost me about $800 for a 3 day stay in the hospital. My dogs are now both over 10 and have developed heart problems. One of them receives medications every day and will need these medications for the rest of his life. The other dog will probably eventually need similar medications. She needs her teeth cleaned and no one will do this without an extensive and expensive cardiac work up - approximately $800 - $1,000. I also have 2 other dogs. My Pit Bull came from a backyard breeder who had no business breeding dogs. My dog is the only one who survived from the litter. My English Bulldog came from a pet store. A month after she came home she became deathly ill and the pet store wanted to take her back and give me another dog. I refused and with the help of my vet and the fact that I am a nurse I was able to nurse her back to health. Now she needs a tail amputation and I would like to spay her. - each operations costing about $600 - $800. My Pit Bull recently split a nail and needs a $400 surgery to fix it. A week later and before he could complete his antibiotics and schedule surgery he tore his ACL and needs a $3,000 surgery. I also have a dove that I picked up out of bush who was probably a victim of somebody's wedding dove release. She was dehydrated and frightened. She recovered well and other than food and maintenance hasn't cost that much. I could never have children. My animals are my children. I pay taxes for other people's children. I wish I could get a tax credit for my "pet children". I feel I have done a service to my community for taking these animals off the streets and providing a safe and loving home for them. They are worth every penny and thank God and my vet for payment plans. But I wish I could claim them like any other parent?

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