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3 Best Tax Deductions For Pawrents In 2024


Even though pet parenting might feel like a full-time job, sadly, the IRS doesn’t allow you to claim pets as dependents on your tax returns. But you still might be able to qualify for a pet-related tax break.  


The Potential Tax Deductions for Pet Owners

You may be able to claim deductions if you and your pet meet certain criteria. You could write off the cost of a variety of expenses, such as veterinary care, food necessities, pet supplies, training, grooming, and boarding. Make sure to consult tax professional to see if you are eligible to apply these valuable pet deductions on your tax returns.


1. Tax Deductions for Service Animals

If you have a service animal, you may get a tax break under the Medical Expense deduction. To qualify, your medical expenses paid during the year must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. As such, you may be able to get a tax deduction for pet expenses if your pet helps you in a medical capacity or performs certain services.

For example, people who are blind, or hearing impaired, and rely on a guide dog may be able to claim a deduction for training and caring for the dog. Similarly, veterans, and others suffering from PTSD, may be able to claim a tax deduction for a dog that performs specific services, like these:

To take advantage of this pet tax deduction, you must be able to prove that your service animal helps you treat a diagnosed mental or physical need. In case the IRS comes calling, be prepared to provide a note from your physician as proof that you need a service or support animal.

Wondering if your dog can be a service dog?


2. Tax Deductions for Fostering Pets

Fostering pets might get you a tax deduction. In fact, every expense you pay caring for foster animals could be deducted as charitable donations, if the animals are from a qualified nonprofit. Sadly, this doesn’t apply to a dog you find wandering the streets or care for when a friend can’t take care of their wanted, or unwanted, pet.

Anything you pay out of pocket necessary for the animals' care could be deductible. Most pet foster parents go above and beyond and take amazing care of their foster pets.  

Volunteers at animal shelters or rescue organizations may be able to deduct fuel costs, so keep track of your mileage. Note that this pet tax deduction only applies to driving done in service to the organization’s mission, not to your commute.

3. Tax Deductions for Pet-Related Moving Expenses

There seems to be a flood of people moving. Pet owners who move may be able to benefit from a tax deduction for the costs of transferring their pets to their new homes, but only if those pet owners meet certain conditions established by the IRS:

·       The move must closely relate to the start of work.

·       Your new primary job location must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your previous job location.

·       After the move, you must work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks the first year.

While I don’t think anyone gets a pet for the tax deduction, it sure can help when you get hit with a surprise vet bill. Talk with your financial planner and tax pro to see if you may qualify for a tax deduction for any expenses you’ve incurred caring for your pets. Most importantly, keep all your records and receipts.


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