In general, deducting pet expenses on your tax return can get you into hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually pet expenses will not hold up should the IRS audit you. However, specific cases exist that allow you to take legitimate tax deductions for spending on your pet.
Regardless of how you justify your pet deductions, make sure that you have receipts and documentation for all expenses you claim on your tax return or they will be disallowed.
Guard animals could pass muster for a deduction for your business. If you consider deducting your pet as a guard animal, make sure that they actually perform guard duties. Your pet’s breed should be one that is often considered that of a typical guard animal. For instance, a pit bull could be considered a guard dog while a Chihuahua probably would not.
It would be beneficial if you could prove your pet had additional guard training. Make sure to keep documentation showing how your pet guards your business property and how long they guard it for each day. The more evidence you have to substantiate your claims, the more likely the deduction will hold up if it is indeed a legitimate business expense.
Guide Animals or Medical Necessity Animals
Whether you require a service animal to help you with post-traumatic stress syndrome or a service dog to warn you of pending seizures, your pet costs could potentially qualify as a medical expense. Besides purchasing and training your animal, these costs also include food, grooming, and veterinary care for the pet.
Make sure to…