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Pet care expenses may soon be tax deductible

by Therese on August 8, 2009

in Pet Health, Pets

Based on the fact that more than 60% of households have pets, and because those pets contribute to our well-being, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, of Michigan, introduced the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act. If passed, it would allow pet owners to take a tax decuction for up to $3500 in pet care expenses. The wording on the bill states that…

qualified pet care expenses means amounts paid in connection with providing care (including veterinary care) for a qualified pet other than any expense in connection with the acquisition of the qualified pet.

The fact that it says “includes veterinary care” leads me to believe pet care services such as pet sitting, dog walking, dog daycare, grooming, and other services may be included in the allowable deductions. If this is the case, I can see this bill as beneficial to pets as well as the pet care industry. If pet owners know they’ll be able to deduct some of their expenses, they may be more apt to get necessary medical care for their pets, but they may also be more likely to pay for other beneficial pet care.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council is asking people to contact their representative and encourage them to consider the bill favorably. See their website to read more, including information on how to contact your representative.

So what do you think? Should pet owners be allowed to deduct some of their pet care expenses?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Nevarez August 9, 2009 at 8:10 am

I have a client who deducted her pet sitting expenses when she hired us due to a trip she had to take for her job. So in that case it is already allowable.


cathy blume August 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Same here as Sally. We had a client who needed an itemized bill as his company paid for petcare expenses.


Nola Elson August 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Hi Cindy & Cathy: The company may have paid for pet care expenses for this employee (it may have been written in the individual hiring contract) or for all the employees in the company as a benefit. However, there is no federal tax deduction for pet care expenses for the general public. A “service pet” may be deductible, under health care, I’m not sure about that one. But unless it’s a state law, there are no Federal deductions for pet care…. at least legally.


Shannon August 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

As a pet sitter & a pet owner, I know for myself & see how much people spend yearly on their pets. I think this is a great idea! To a lot of people thier pets are thier kids & there are tax breaks for people who have kids. People spend tons of money annually for thier pets. I agree this would be more of an incentive to get pets the proper pet care. I have purchased pet insurance for my cats for the past 10 years & the premiums have just gotten so high (despite them being healthy) I can’t afford the polices anymore. I would never slack on thier health care but this would help my pocket book a bit. Anybody know how to try to get this idea passed in other states? I’m in Illinois.


Maureen August 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Will food and litter be deductible too if this passes?


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