Service Dogs are tax deductible

My faithful service dog, Pasha recently had to be put down after many months of treatment for cancer to the spine. The cost of his care during those 6 months was more than $10,000.00. When I was discussing this year’s medical expenses to deduct from my taxes, I mentioned that my service dog had more medical expenses that we did. While I never gave it though, it turns out a service dog is a medial aid just as a wheelchair or other medical devises, which are tax deductible.

You can include in the medical expenses the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually impaired or hearing disabled person, psychiatric or other physical disabilities. In general, you may deduct the cost of owning a Service Dog from your taxes. The IRS may ask for documentation on your disability and of course, will want itemized expenses with receipts, in the case of an audit.

The cost can include any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality your Service Dog so that it may perform its duties. While the IRS website states you can deduct the costs for Service Dogs that help with physical disabilities, Psychiatric Service Dogs which are specifically trained to complete tasks that assist with mental health disabilities are also covered. The IRS may ask for documentation on your disability and of course, will want itemized expenses with receipts, in the case of an audit, so be well prepared.

The costs of buying, training, and maintaining a service animal to assist an individual with mental disabilities may qualify as medical care if the taxpayer can establish that the taxpayer is using the service animal primarily for medical care to alleviate a mental defect or illness and that the taxpayer would not have paid the expenses but for the disability, disease, or illness.

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