Clique para arrastar essa janela
We've been keeping our veterinarian in business lately. First Sammy, our nine-year-old golden retriever, needed surgery. (She's fne now.) Then Inky, our curious cat, burned his paw. (He'll be fne, too.) At our last visit, as we were writing our fourth (or was it the ffth?) consecutive check to the veterinary hospital, there was much joking about how vet bills should be tax-deductible. After all, pets are dependents, too, right? (Guffaws all around.)
Now, halfway through tax-fling season, comes news that pets are high on the list of unusual deductions taxpayers try to claim. From routine pet expenses to the costs of adopting a pet to, yes, pets as "dependents," tax accountants have heard it all this year, according to the Minnesota Society of Certifed Public Accountants, which surveys its members annually about the most outlandish tax deductions proposed by clients. Most of these doggy deductions don't hunt, but, believe it or not, some do. Could there be a spot for Sammy and Inky on our 1040?
Scott Kadrlik, a certifed public accountant in Eden Prairie, Minn., who moonlights as a stand-up comedian (really!), gave me a dog's-eye view of the tax code: "In most cases our family pets are just family pets," he says. They cannot be claimed as dependents, and you cannot deduct the cost of their food, medical care or other expenses. One exception is service dogs. If you require a Seeing Eye dog, for example, your canine's costs are deductible as a medical expense. Occasionally, man's best friend also is man's best business deduction. The Doberman that guards the junk yard can be deductible as a business expense of the junk-yard owner, says Mr. Kadrlik. Ditto the convenience-store cat that keeps the rats at bay
For most of us, though, our pets are hobbies at most. Something's a hobby if, among other things, it hasn't turned a proft in at least three of the past fve years (or two of the past seven years in the case of horse training, breeding or racing). In that case, you can't deduct losses-only expenses to the extent of income in the same year. So if your beloved Bichon earns $100 for a modeling gig, you could deduct $100 worth of vet bills (or dog food or doggy attire).
(Source: Carolyn Geer, The Wall Street Journal, retrieved on 13 March 2014 - slightly adapted)