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My Dogs Are Too Dependents
Amazon.com Amazon.com
Powell's Books Powell's Books

I am a dog person.  Not a pet person, but a hard core, my dog is my life, dog person.  I have done obedience, hunt tests, field trials, rescue, and even a little conformation with my dogs. They are as much a part of me as breathing.  They are my children and everyone who is around me very long, and wants to stay in my life, acknowledges that.

Except the IRS.  Now, I would not miss the IRS a bit if they just disappeared.  However, they show no evidence of going anywhere.  You would think they would at least acknowledge my dogs as dependants.  But no, even though the dogs hold no job making any money, live in the house, and are dependent on me for all their care, they are not considered dependents.

To be claimed as a dependent, a qualifying relative must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Must live with you
  • Cannot make more than $3,650 a year
  • You must support the relative by paying more than half their expenses each year.

So far, so good.  My dogs were born here, live with me, earn no income, and depend on me for all their expenses.   No where in the publications does it say that my child must be human instead of four legged and furred.  Nonetheless, the IRS does not recognize them as dependents.

I go through this angst every year when filing my tax returns.  I wish I was brave enough, or reckless enough, to claim them and let the IRS figure it out, or not.  However, the IRS behaves in a rather draconian fashion when crossed, so I meekly file and mutter.  Until next year.



4 Comment count
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Tell Me About It....

If you can prove that they are part of your business, I think you can deduct them as a business expense. But I complete agree. Every dog I've had fits the description of Dependent. So does my cat. Next year, indeed! ;-)

Darlene Arden
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
and Red Room Neighbor. :-)

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Do you think we could organize a mob and take action?

I agree with every animal loving bone in my body. I've come to the conclusion that no IRS employee (with decision-making capabilities) has a pet they are enmeshed with. If only I could write off the vet bills for our aging pups!

So, Stephanie, let me know if you want to join my (so far) one woman protest!


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write them into submission

Every writer I know, or know of, has at least one four legged "dependant."  We ought to be able to bury them in paper and write them into submission, at the very least.  I'm in.

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. http://stephaniesuesansmith.com http://photos.stephaniesuesansmith.com Hunt County, Texas

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I sleep with my tax

I sleep with my tax guy...(married to him *eg*) and he won't let me write off ANYTHING with the pets. It has to be "exclusively" used in the biz to count. *sigh*

We're preaching to the furry choir here, folks.


Amy D. Shojai, CABC
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
Author, 23 nonfiction pet care books