Questions 34 through 38 refer to the following text.
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 certified 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 profit in at least three of the past five 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
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