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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