Tax Breaks For Pet OwnersPublished July 19, 2011
Providing foster care for stray animals is now tax deductible, thanks to a cat-saving volunteer on a mission.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Jan Van Dusen, a former family-law attorney in Oakland, Calif., lives with seven cats of her own. As a volunteer for Fix Our Ferals, whose mission is to trap stray cats, neuter them and care for them until they can be adopted by owners or released, Ms. Van Dusen provided foster care for about 70 feral cats.
Ms. Van Dusen appeared before a U.S. Tax Court judge and a team of Internal Revenue Service lawyers more than a year ago to dispute her tax deduction for taking care of the 70 stray cats.
The Tax Court allowed her to make a charitable deduction for expenses she incurred while taking care of the cats in her home for the IRS-approved charity, Fix Our Ferals.
According to the Wall Street Journal, among the $12,068 in expenses she deducted were food, veterinarian bills, litter, a portion of utility bills, and other items such as paper towels and garbage bags.
Judge Richard Morrison allowed Ms. Van Dusen to deduct most of some bills and half of others for care of the feral cats, ruling they were un-reimbursed expenses to help a charitable group in its mission.
As a tax-paying pet owner, keep records of the major expenses for stray animals and have the charity you are helping write a letter of acknowledgement for the gift, then any expense over $250 can be deducted.
Check out Petside’s article on Finances and Pet Owners .