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.