Writing off my Dog

Today TaxMama hears from Sid in the TaxQuips Forum, who has a dog walking/training sole proprietorship. “My question concerns expenses for my dog, who is the face of my business (appearing on all my advertising material) and whom I use all the time for training demonstrations to attract clients. Can I deduct any of her expenses, such as medical care, medical insurance, food, etc? If so, under what category would I include these expenses on my tax form?”


Dear Sid,

Please be very careful with deductions related to your pet.

Really, how much time do you really spend, using your dog in your business? Do you have a log of the times you use her for demonstrations, to take advertising pictures, etc.?

If you are not really engaging your dog’s services for several hours of every day, I wouldn’t go there.
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For instance, if you had a store and the dog provided security in your shop all day – I’d certainly write off his feed and supplies at the store.

If you insist on using the expenses, build up a solid file of data related to how she works in your business – pictures, time cards, etc.
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Then use the insurance under “Insurance” (goodness, how original), the supplies, as “supplies”, the medical expenses on one of the blank lines on Page 2 of your Schedule C – “medical expense dog training” – etc.

Just be logical. Remember, you have blank lines on Page 2.
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If you need more lines than that? Then only use ONE line on that page.
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Write – “See Attached Schedule” and include a worksheet listing all the expenses.
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Good luck and pray you are never audited.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about writing off your pets and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com .

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