Proposed Tax Break for Pet Owners: Will it Pass?Published August 27, 2009
I have often fantasized about being able to receive a "tax break" and listing our cats as dependants to be an excellent idea. Since my "fantasy" seemed so bizarre, especially during these difficult financial times, that it was a totally frivolous and unrealistic notion.
At the same time however, it seemed like a very sensible solution in order to help defray the costs involved in taking care of our furry "kids". I also thought that perhaps it would provide an incentive for folks to be able to more easily afford necessary veterinary care which so often is relegated to the back burner due to serious monetary constraints.
So I was thrilled to receive an email the other day, providing some exciting news, from an avid cat loving friend who does so much to help stray and feral cats. Amazingly the subject matter was just about this topic. It seems that animal lovers who understand are so often on the "same page".
Missy Woodward, a Stray Cat Alliance board member met with Thaddeus McCotter (R), a U.S. Representative from MI, to talk about a promising new legislation which he introduced which may help to give pet owners a tax break for qualified expenses. The deduction would be based on regular pet care, veterinary expenses and any other costs involved in connection with the pet (s). The bill is titled, "H.R.3501- Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years", whose acronym is "H.A.P.P.Y.". The requirements are the pet must be a legally owned domestic living animal residing with the owner. Those animals used in research or business will not qualify for the deduction.
If the HAPPY Act is passed, I am sure it would help so many pet guardians. The ASPCA presently estimates the annual cost of caring for just one cat to be approximately $700, and if adding the expense for veterinary care of the treatment of any major medical condition or injury, these costs can rise astronomically. The passage of this bill would be "mewsic" to the ears to those of us who care for kitties.
Additionally for folks volunteering in animal rescue, these deductions would certainly help to defray the out-of-pocket which can be very high. Adding to the equation, folks who are thinking about adopting pets from shelters would get that much needed tax relief, thereby making it far more attractive in this difficult economic climate to move ahead with an adoption. More needy pets would find forever homes, which is a definite "win-win" for humans and pets.
Right now the bill resides currently with the House Ways and Means Committee. And, if you consider this to be a legitimate and realistic legislation, you can take part in helping by supporting Stray Cat Alliances request to write your U.S. Representative to urge them to become a co-sponsor and support the HAPPY Act. Congressman McCotter reminds us, Congress listens to their constituents and your voices make a difference!
You can snail mail, email, call their office or fax your support of this pending bill, "H.R.3501" the HAPPY bill for pet lovers. Together we can and do make a difference.
This video uploaded to YouTube by DoggyTV features all the point you can include in the messages you send your Representatives.
What are your thoughts about this pending bill? Share your ideas by leaving a comment.