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I am a mental health therapist in private practice and will…

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I am a mental...

I am a mental health therapist in private practice and will be purchasing a puppy to get trained as a therapy dog for my patients. Can I deduct these expenses?

Accountant's Assistant: The Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.

Cost of puppy, training, food, vet cost

Accountant's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Accountant should know?

No, I

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Finance
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
12/5/2017
Financial Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 9 months ago
emc011075
emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 4,053
Experience: IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

Generally, you cannot deduct any dog related expenses except for service dogs. However, if the dog is your business asset and treated as such you can argue that it is legitimate business expenses.

To be deductible, you practice should have a separate room for the dog. You cannot take the dog home every night, unless the practice is in your home, in which case the deduction will not be possible. As any other business asset, the dog would have to be kept at the place of your business.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
How would a live animal be okay to leave at the office by itself all night with no one to let it out and take care of it? Not sure how this is supportive in maintaining the care of the animal.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
No, more questions. Not sure your answer is correct. I just wasted money on this. Ugh.
Financial Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 9 months ago

You can hire somebody or do it yourself. The IRS does not care how care for it, as long as you do not use it for personal purposes.

In several instances courts disallowed a deduction for a animal held at home because of the person use. People claimed a dog as security for their home based business. In other instances, court allowed a deduction if the animal was kept strictly for business related purposes on the business premises.

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Financial Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 9 months ago

A former client runs a dog training business from her home (service dogs for blind people). She has to follow strict IRS guidelines. The dogs must be kept in a separate facility or room separated from the rest of the house, she has to have a separate, fenced training area and business vehicle used for transportation. The dogs cannot run around with the children or other dogs in the house. That's the only way she can deduct expenses related to her business.

The bot***** *****ne is that unless you can show that the animal is purchased for business only, not included personal interaction, companies or enjoyment, you cannot deduct the expenses. Unless you follow strict rules, it is almost impossible to defend it.

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