Service animals are not considered pets. They are working animals for people with disabilities. Therefore, they are essential a medical device and would be considered a tax deduction on your Schedule A.
What kind of expenses can I deduct?
- Expenses related to the purchase of a service animal
- Vet bills
- Harnesses, tags, etc.
Proving the animal is a service animal (not all must apply)
- Purpose - The IRS must agree the purpose of the service animal is to treat a mental or physical need
- Prescription - If a doctor has suggested that a service animal may aid with your treatment (get it in writing in case the IRS challenges it)
- Link between illness and service animal - is there a history of people with your disability benefitting from a service animal?
- Effectiveness - Has the use of the service animal improved your condition? Keep a journal or your progress to show how the service animal has aided in your treatment.
- Timing - Treatment is in response to a problem. Your existing pet may not qualify as a service animal. Once you develop a condition and acquire a pet to aid you, the pet is connected with the issue.
To claim service animal deductions, you must itemize the return. Since the standard deduction has recently increased, many people may not be able to take advantage of itemizing deductions. Please be sure to have receipts for any expenses you are claiming.
The expenses are claimed as medical expenses on your Schedule A . Only the part of your medical and dental expenses that exceeds 7.5% of the amount of your adjusted gross income are deductible.
- Federal Section
- Itemized Deductions
- Medical and Dental Expenses
- Other Medical Expenses