A Tax Deduction for Our Furry Family Members??

JezzieBlanketIt’s always been a running joke with pet parents that we should be able to have a tax deduction for our furbabies just like parent with kids.  Now this may not be too far fetched if Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) gets his way. Recently introduced and now in the House Ways and Means Committee, H.R. 3501, or the “Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act,” may just give pet parents tax relief. If passed, H.R. 3501 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow individuals a deduction of up to $3500 a year for qualified pet care expenses.

In the midst of the recession with pets being surrendered to shelters in record numbers and many pets being euthanized because owners cannot afford vet care, this could come as a welcome and long overdue bit of relief.

According to the 2007–2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63 percent of United States house holds own a pet.

‘‘SEC. 224. PET CARE EXPENSES.
‘‘(a) ALLOWANCE OF DEDUCTION.—In the case of an  individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction for the  taxable year an amount equal to the qualified pet care expenses of the taxpayer during the taxable year for any qualified pet of the taxpayer.

‘‘(b) MAXIMUM DEDUCTION.—The amount allowable as a deduction under subsection (a) to the taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed $3,500.

‘‘(c) QUALIFIED PET CARE EXPENSES.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘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.

‘‘(d) QUALIFIED PET.—For purposes of this section—
‘‘(1) QUALIFIED PET.—The term ‘qualified pet’ means a legally owned, domesticated, live animal.
‘‘(2) EXCEPTIONS.—Such term does not include any animal—
‘‘(A) used for research or owned or utilized in conjunction with a trade or business

So my friends, might be a good idea to give your local reps a call and tell them you support H.R. 3501 and ask them to do the same. It’s about time that our furry family members were recognized as being more than “just a dog” or cat and that “The Human-Animal Bond has been shown to have positive effects upon people’s emotional and physical well-being.”

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  1. This should be acceptable; it is an expense a very important expense. If your pet becomes sick and you bring them to a vet this expense can really hit your pocketbook heavily.

    We all know that when your friend gets sick you rather have them taken care of no matter what the expense.

    Where can we go to back this bill?

  2. Well, it is about time! Just as children, these fur babies are our babies, and those of us who do give proper care, and license our babies should get a break. Hopefully this will be passed, and catch on nationwide!

  3. Yes, it is about time – our dogs are the same as children, and the wonderful thing is that this may result in some people taking better care of their pets!!!!!!

  4. I hope this passes. Some people that can never have children, adopt pets and those pets are their children. We pay to have medical insurance for them, we feed and bath them, provide a place to sleep and so on. So why shouldn't they be tax deductible. I will watch for this bill and hope it passes.

  5. I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade but this representative is opposed to doing anything about health care for people which makes me wonder about his motives…a donation from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council?

  6. While I really like the idea of having a tax deduction for pets (who give us so much and ask for so little in return), there's a lot of stuff that could have been done in Washington that could have kept this recession from becoming so severe. Millions of Americans lost their shirt in the stock market because of the underhanded crap that went down on Wall Street, and millions more had no choice but to stand by and watch as their jobs were taken away and shipped overseas. Where was McCotter when all of this was going on? This feels like crumbs thrown to a starving person. Tax deductions only help those who have the income and lifestyle to make the itemizing of deductions worth the trouble. A lot of the people who lost their homes, and subsequently their pets, do not fit into that category.

  7. I'm sorry, I love pets (especially dogs), and my dogs are a huge part of my family. I treat them so well, my friends say they want to die and come back as my dog! But this legislation is ridiculous. A lot of our human citizens don't even have basic health insurance, and humans can only take medical deductions above certain thresholds.

    Do you people realize our government is spending way more than we take in? We have a huge budget deficit problem, and we need to start making tough decisions about what good things not to pay for. Unless we all want to pay 75% of our income to taxes, which is also a possibility. And in the middle of that, now you want to add more tax deductions to take care of pets?

    Where is this going to end? When every person in America gets to deduct their "pet" project, so nobody has to pay any tax? (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun!

    I'm truly sorry there are so many unwanted pets. But then pass laws about neutering. Pass laws against puppy mills. But if people can't afford to pay for their pets, they shouldn't have pets.

    • People make choices in life. People can have health care but choice not too. Why am I paying for a 13 year old on Medicaid to have a baby. That is my tax money. I don't want to pay for that. Why not have pet deductions. After all what else do we get for tax deductions? You need to wake up and smell the coffee. We are paying for people not to work and illigals to sit home. Why do we have to pay for them?

    • Although you make a valid point about America and our government, you should think before you speak.

      A large part of my taxes go to public schools, people who cannot afford health insurance, or children whos parents can not even afford them. I have no children, so why should I have to pay for schools. I have no children, so why should I have to pay for parents who are unable to care for the kids they choose to have. I have insurance, why should I have to pay for someone else who is to lazy to work hard and achieve a career that will validate there hard work by giving them health insurance. Just as you mention, " How about this idea? If you can't afford the real cost of pet ownership, don't get one." How about if you can't afford health care or cant afford a child, you shouldn't have it.

  8. Hi there the pet tax is a bit off considering there are so many homeless people out there today. However it would help with the vet bills of those I know I recently had over a $1000 ah well what we do for those we love .. my Misty is in the cutest dog contest she loves to roll funny in the winter looks like she is making doggie angels .. we need some votes so if anyone could please vote for her here is the link .. http://www.cutestdogcompetition.com/vote.cfm?h=1D
    she is a sick little girl she has cancer and they can't operate so we are just keeping her happy and enjoying her as long as we can

  9. It's about time for the tax break for pets. We do not have children and are married. We have 4 dogs. The vets can become expensive when they are sick. Yes some Americans do not have health car but that is their fault. I went without healthcare for 3 years until I found a job that paid for it. Please do not fell sorry for the people that have assistance on the government programs. They don't pay for copays as you and I do. They go to the emergency for consipation and birth control. What a waste of an er visit. If people went to their PCP instead of using the er, we would not have to worry about health care cost. Can not fix stupid. People say Micheal Vick needs to make a living. What is he teaching our children. It's ok to kill dogs and you go away for 18 months and everything is better. He is suppose to be a roll model. Not a dog killer. I say no football and has to make 10.00 an hour. What makes him special.

  10. It is about time I dont have any kids, but my dog is like my kid….People spend money on there child and get a tax refund so why not a animals there are just like a person to….let this pass….