Certified Service Animal Tax Deduction

women with a service dog

If you rely on a service animal to navigate life, you may be asking yourself, “Can I claim my dog on my taxes?” The answer is sometimes. When you require a service animal to support a physical or emotional condition, you may be able to deduct a portion of the expenses related to caring for the animal. 

How do I deduct service animal expenses? 

Service animals qualify as approved medical expenses. Therefore, you can include service animal expenses along with itemized deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040. As you gather all the receipts for animal-related costs, locate any documentation qualifying the pet as a service animal. You’ll also need any documentation from your physician that outlines how the service animal improves the symptoms of your condition.  

Read also: What is Itemizing and Who Should Do It?   

Which expenses can I deduct for my service animal? 

The IRS allows you to deduct the cost of buying and maintaining the health and vitality of the animal so that it may be able to do its duties. Qualifying expenses may include:  

  • Purchasing of the pet  
  • Necessary training   
  • Veterinary care  
  • Grooming   
  • Food 

How much is the tax deduction for service animals? 

The amount of the deduction depends on the amount of your total medical expenses. Write-offs for your service animal are categorized as unreimbursed medical expenses.  

Your total unreimbursed medical expenses, even those unrelated to a service animal, must be greater than 7.5% of your AGI. The excess of 7.5% of your AGI will be used to determine the amount of your deduction. For more information on deductible medical and dental expenses, visit the IRS site here

Read also: What Is Adjusted Gross Income? 

Can I claim my pet as a dependent? 

No, your pet cannot be claimed as a dependent. The IRS has a list of requirements that explain who you can claim as a dependent, and animals just don’t meet those criteria. 

Learn more: Who Can I Claim as a Dependent? 

How to deduct service animal expenses using TaxSlayer 

 TaxSlayer helps make sure that you get the most out of your tax experience. Collect your medical expense receipts – including your service animal costs – and we’ll help you get your max refund. 

Get instructions for entering your unreimbursed medical expenses – including qualified service animals – using TaxSlayer. 

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