Many medical expenses are tax deductible. Any expense that involves prevention, diagnosis, or medical treatment of a physical or mental illness is deductible. Any expense that involves treatment for anything cosmetic is not. We've been asked several times if training for a Service Dog is tax deductible. The answer is: yes! The IRS does allow you to include the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a Service Dog as a medical expense. Please view this on the IRS.gov website.
You are allowed to claim a medical tax deduction for all medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the 2009 tax year. For example, if your AGI is over $40,000, then you would have to pay more than $3000 in medical expenses during the year to qualify. Also, you can only deduct the amount that is in excess of the 7.5%. So, using the previous example, if you had $4000 in medical expenses, you would be able to deduct $1000 from your taxes.
Please note: Of course, we do suggest that you consult with a tax professional and do not rely on us as your sole source of tax advice. If you are ever audited, you may be asked to provide proof that your animal is a Service Dog that qualifies under the ADA. If you train your own animal, the best way to do this is by keeping a record of your training either in some kind of a paper log or online web blog — or a video tape of your Service Dog's completion of the Minimum Training Standards for Service and Assistance Dogs and a Public Access Test like the one available at Assistance Dogs International.
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