If you’ve kept up with the news the last few days then you’ll know that Hurricane Harvey has become one of the largest and most costly storms in history. Not only have homes and property been destroyed, but thousands of people and their pets have been displaced. Not all of the pets displaced have gone to a shelter with their owners. Some of them have been separated for various reasons, and will be found and rescued by animal rescue organizations. We hope they will be reunited with their owners, but in the meanwhile, there’s good news for people who open their hearts and homes and foster these and other animals from a qualified organization.
Fostering a pet from a qualified 501(c)(3) organization means you may be able to deduct your expenses as a charitable contribution. Veterinary visits, pet supplies, food, and other related expenses could qualify. Mileage to and from an area for the organization can be deducted as well. Keep in mind, as always, to keep records and receipts of your mileage and expenses. In this case, we are talking about fostering an animal, but not adopting. Adoption fees are not deductible because you are receiving something (your new furry friend) in exchange for that fee.
There are other members of your furry family who may have deductible expenses besides foster animals. Do you have a service animal in your home? Service animals are animals who have been trained to do work or to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. A common service animal is a seeing eye dog.
Do you have a guard dog on your business property? You may be able to claim some of the training and vet care costs for the animal as a business expense. You may also be able to deduct the costs of moving your pet from your old home to your new home provided the move fits the criteria for moving for your work/job.
You can find specifics for these and other deductions at IRS.gov or use your favorite search engine to locate information.