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Are Service Dogs Tax Deductible?

Certain service dog expenses are tax deductible under medical expenses on your taxes. The IRS helps incur these expenses for these service dogs’ excellent health and duties. Details here!
Are Service Dogs Tax Deductible
Are Service Dogs Tax Deductible?
Service dogs are tax deductible if you have a disability or impairment. Here's everything you need to know about the tax implications of keeping a service dog.
In this article

Service dogs are enabled access to public spaces, transportation and housing, irrespective of any regulations or guidelines related to pets. These privileges guarantee that disabled individuals have equal access to opportunities and accommodations. Let’s understand whether service dogs are tax deductible, among other tax implications. Check out Beem Income Tax Calculator and Refund Estimator to find an accurate estimate of your tax situation.

Are Service Dogs Tax Deductible?

Yes, service dogs are tax deductible if you have a disability or impairment. They help you in overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pushing the wheelchair, alerting in case of an emergency, etc. They guide visually impaired individuals with transportation and act as hearing aids to those in need. 

What Service Dog Expenses Are Tax Deductible?

Certain service dog expenses are tax deductible under medical expenses on your taxes. The IRS helps incur these expenses for these service dogs’ excellent health and duties. But your medical expenses must be at most 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). This is your gross income minus certain adjustments.

Eligible service animal tax deductions include the cost of buying a service animal, training, grooming licensing fees, food expenses, veterinary fees and animal equipment such as leashes, harnesses, vests, etc.

For therapy dog expenses, deductions are related to making the dog accessible to patients as part of your business. This may include transportation costs, leashes, collars, travel crates, beds, and food dishes. Additional deductions cover adoption fees, therapy dog training, supervision, and certification. However, private use costs, such as regular vet bills, pet insurance, food, toys, grooming, and care products, are likely only tax-deductible if explicitly incurred when making your therapy dog available to patients.

What is a Service Animal According to the ADA and IRS?

A service animal is a dog trained to perform tasks to help a disabled or impaired individual. These tasks aid with mobility, alerting to sounds, providing non-violent protection, pulling wheelchairs, assisting during seizures, indicating allergens, retrieving items, offering physical support, and intervening in impulsive/ destructive behaviors. 

Can Emotional Support Animals Qualify For A Tax Write-Off?

No, ESA does not qualify for a Tax Write-Off under ADA. This is because they provide only comfort, so they come under the category of being a pet. 

How Do You Prove Your Pet Is A Service Animal For A Tax Deduction?

You must demonstrate that you require the assistance of a dog due to your medical limitations. You should be able to address the following inquiries:

  • Have a licensed medical professional diagnosed the disability and affirmed the necessity of a service dog?
  • Have the dog undergone training at a school to perform specific duties for your disability?
  • Show how the training and abilities of the dog contributed to alleviating your medical condition.

Ideally, along with the medical diagnosis, service dogs that have received formal training from an institution may obtain certification to substantiate claims for tax purposes. 

What Pet Expenses Are Tax-Deductible?

After approval from IRS form’s Schedule A:

  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Training
  • The cost of buying the animal
  • Vet bills and medical care
  • Boarding
  • Supplies like leashes, vests, or harnesses

Note: The total medical expenses for deduction must not exceed 7.5 percent of the individual’s gross income

How Do I Write Off My Service Animal Expenses When Filing?

To be eligible for these deductions, individuals must provide evidence that the service animal assists them with a diagnosed physical or mental disability. Documentation from a physician and receipts of qualified medical expenses are crucial for making the claims. 

Obtaining a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) letter is recommended if the service animal is for a psychiatric condition. This letter, written by a licensed mental health practitioner (LMHP), should include details such as the diagnosis, the need for a service dog, LMHP’s information, license details, and a signature. The PSD letter is valid for one year, and renewal is necessary to keep tax documents updated for claiming service animal tax deductions.

Conclusion

As per the IRS, if you possess a service animal primarily for medical care to alleviate a mental defect or illness, you must demonstrate that your animal meets the criteria as a treatment for your medical condition. Then, you will be eligible to declare particular expenses related to your pet on your tax return. Get a quick and accurate estimate of your federal and state tax refund with Beem.

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Author

Fatema Yusuf

Fatema Yusuf

A passionate writer, who loves to write about anything and everything. She usually writes about finance and investment options. She enjoys talking about personal development and loves to help people grow. she loves to cook for kids and upcycle old stuff to give them a new life.

Editor

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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