Should Your Pets File Taxes?

Special Thanks to the amazing folks at The Muttly Crew for permission to use this article.

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As the tax deadline looms, don’t forget about write-offs that could literally go to the dogs! Whether your adorable pup is on patrol or your cat exploits her gorgeous looks, you may want to read this. Although pets cannot be reported as dependents to the IRS, there are a number of deduction possibilities.

Accountant Debby Lara with Licensed to Count spoke to our crew about some tax tips. She referenced articles from Pawlicy Advisor and Forbes. Pet parents with working, service, or performance animals may take deductions. Volunteers, foster parents and people moving also may have write-offs. Debby explains how helping our animal-kids can be conveyed on those tedious forms.

Here are some common paw-tential tax deductions:

Service Animals

If your pet helps you in a medical capacity or performs services, you may be able to claim medical expense deductions. You can write off the costs for keeping therapy or emotional support animals. You must be able to show proof that your animal helps you treat a diagnosed mental or physical need.

Working Animals

Business owners may be able to get a tax deduction if the pet provides a service to the business and the costs of keeping the pet is necessary to operating the business. Examples of working animals would be a guard dog or a cat to chase away rodents.

Performance Animals

If your pets’ performances earn you income, you may be able to claim them as a business expense. Whether they are chewing in front of a ring light or are a furry extra on a movie set, they may be able to help. Keep detailed records of bills related to your pet and the activity that earns income.

Fostering Pets

If you foster animals from a qualified non-profit, the expense you pay caring for the foster animals may qualify as a charitable donation. Many fosters help with costs like food and medical care. But if you pay for any necessity, it may be a tax-deductible expense.


If you volunteer at animal shelters or rescue organizations, you can deduct fuel costs. This only applies to driving done during your service for the organization. Your commute does not count. Keep track of your mileage.

Pet-Related Moving Expenses

If you moved to a new home, your costs of transferring your pet may qualify as a tax deduction.


In order to support your tax deductions remember to keep track of your pet related expenses throughout the year that include the following bills:

Veterinary care
Food necessities
Pet Supplies
Pet Insurance

You should check out if it makes more sense to take a standard deduction or itemized deductions. Pet expenses will be itemized. So sniff out the amount you can claim for either scenario and see what is better for you. It’s a woofin good idea to refer to for more details and ask your accountant for advice.

Listen to this info at Video: FRR Show (Furry Friends Can Fetch Tax Deductions)

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