Although we're not quite into the tax season just yet, we are nearing the end of the year, which means that any tax breaks you're going to get next year, should be wrapped up in the next couple of months. And, like clockwork, there's always someone asking about tax breaks for pet owners.
As real estate agents, we're always looking for every single deductible possible. Every little penny counts when it comes to paying taxes or not paying them. So, if you are a pet owner, listen up! There are some tax breaks for pet owners. Here's what you can claim.
#1. Guard dogs.
This doesn't mean your little ankle buyer that comes to the door anytime a friend stops by but, if your pet guards your business location, you might be able to deduct the costs of keeping him fed and healthy. The IRS is pretty strict when it comes to deducting the cost of animals as a business expense and there have been many court cases to go one way or the other, but, a guard dog can be an exemption if the business is in a bad part of town and the IRS feels it was a legitimate expense. It might be difficult to prove, but if you can, it's definitely a legitimate deduction. Things to consider are size and breed. A little Chihuahua while isn't good to do much to defend a large brokerage but a mastiff, pitbull, or Rottweiler could definitely be believable.
#2. A cat for pest control.
I tell you what, I wish the cats would get some of the rats around my chicken pen this time of year but you may be able to deduct them if your cat keeps your business property free of mice, rats, and other vermin.
#3. Pet showing.
If you make money showing your Pet, even as a hobby, you might be able to claim a tax break for any expenses. Show dogs or show cats and their expenses can be deductible if you spend money and earn money in the endeavor. You can expect to receive 1099 at the end of the year if you've earned hobby income from the winnings of a show.
#4. Foster pet deductions.
This is one of my favorites. If you foster animals of any kind you may be able to take advantage of a tax benefit for charitable contributions. Any expenses you incur for caring for foster cats or dogs from qualified nonprofit organizations can be deductible on your Schedule A as charitable donations. These must be unreimbursed expenses. Even if you volunteer at shelter or rescue organizations you can deduct your mileage made to and from the location at about $.14 per mile.
#5. Service animals.
This is not your "service ferret" that you drag around with you everywhere but if you have a legitimate guide dog or service animal, you can include the costs of training the dog, veterinarian, food, and even grooming expenses. Pets are used in all type of services these days such as the treatment of posttraumatic stress, seizures, and heart-related conditions.
Be sure to have a prescription from your doctor or something that proves the animal is a legitimate service dog or any type of pet, really. It has to be trained and certified.
#6. Moving expenses.
If you move with your pet is required for work or some other job-related expense, and your pet requires additional costs, you can usually deduct those fees. There are stipulations and regulations so about the distance that you are traveling. If you meet the IRS requirements, you can deduct the shipping costs of your household pet to your new home along with any other moving-related expenses.
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