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Proposed Act Could Make Pet Care Expenses Tax Deductible

Proposed Act Could Make Pet Care Expenses Tax Deductible

The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act, H.R. 3501, has been introduced in the House of Representatives and has made its way to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The HAPPY Act would amend an IRS code to allow a deduction for qualified pet care expenses of up to $3500 a year.

Qualified pet care expenses are being defined as “amounts paid in connection with providing care (including veterinary care) for a qualified pet other than any expense in connection with the acquisition of the qualified pet,” and can be applied to any legally owned domesticated animal, with the exception of those used in research or as part of a business.

Critics of this act are arguing that it’s not an important issue in the face of other problems, such as unemployment. However, considering the state of the economy, offering a tax deduction for the costs of pet care, particularly veterinary expenses, could provide a huge relief to those who are suffering financial strains.

According to the National Pet Owners Survey, 63% of households have pets, which means a lot of people and animals would benefit from this act.

Additionally, this could encourage more people to license their pets, along with encouraging them to make sure their pet receives adequate veterinary care and vaccinations. Regular checkups at the vet may also mean catching potential health issues before they turn into serious, and expensive, complications.

This act could also mean fewer animals getting euthanized or winding up in already overflowing shelters as a result of sickness or injury or even simply because owners can’t afford the costs of basic care, while simultaneously promoting adoptions by those who might be worried about the financial aspects of owning a pet.

Please take a minute to sign Care2’s petition in favor of passing the HAPPY Act. 

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44 comments

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11:01AM PST on Dec 10, 2009

I believe that this should be passed. I love animals and consider them to be my children!! One has Epilipsy and takes 6 pills a day to keep her from having seizures, the cost for this is $100 per month. The other has allergies and takes one pill a day. This being passed would be a blessing to me with the way the economy currently is. I also go to the animal shelter to give out dog bones and a large sum of the animals there are surrendered from owners that can no longer care for them. I feel for these animals that have done no wrong and are more than likely going to be euthanized.

7:09AM PDT on Sep 14, 2009

Every year I save all my receipts for my pets' expenses and asked my tax expert to see if I can deduct these expenses and it's always the same that unfortunately I can't but I'm not giving up either. Not everybody can have children so they have pets or both. It cost money for proper care of pets and it should be dedutible.
So I strongly agree to pass this Act. It's about time as well.

8:57AM PDT on Sep 10, 2009

This is an Amazing idea!! If it passes it will help so many people and their pets!!!!!!

8:13AM PDT on Sep 9, 2009

its about time indeed!

2:48PM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

A terrific idea, for many of the reasons others have stated. As for people claiming to have 17 pets, I assume you'd have to include copies of vet receipts and licenses to prove you own the animal you're claiming. Don't you have to supply SS#s when you claim your children?

1:30PM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

What do they mean by select animals? I think tax deduction for pets(and kids) is a great idea. Most people I know have pets. It's one of the few luxuries they allow themselves and thier kids.

12:44PM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

what? !!!!! we cannot even deduct taxes on items we purchase. or things for children .But we can deduct for a dog. Get serious already. I love animals but animals are NOT people. First people then the pets.

11:02AM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

How wonderful! So many people who can't afford the high vet costs may now seek medical attention for their animals if they get a tax break.

10:25AM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

but how can we prevent everyone in the US from claiming they all have 17 pets, so as to claim the deduction?

10:08AM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

It's about time.

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