Up in the Air with a Service Dog
January 6, 2015
Spotting the Lemon, and other service dog silliness
February 5, 2015

Taxing the Service Dog

m1If Mr. Groundhog has any sense, he’ll remain underground on his infamous day. Why risk whisker frostbite when he could snooze through to Valentine’s Day?   And if chocolate isn’t enough of a temptation to step into the cold, he’ll surely emerge by April 15 to file his taxes.

The lure of a Service Dog tax deduction draws all sorts into the sunlight. And the IRS makes it easy. What? IRS and easy don’t typically appear in the same sentence. But all a taxpayer needs to provide to lop off the pesky cost of feeding and taking care of the dog is registration paperwork. Yes, yes, the ADA states that service dog handlers need not provide such documentation — licensing, certification or otherwise – and, thus, no legitimate registry exists. The IRS neglected to read that part of their fellow government agency’s regulations or perhaps they chose to pooh-pooh it. It’s an open door open to step through that pooh into fraudulent online service dog registries. To add to the ease of tax time, here – in alphabetical order (this is the IRS) – is the short list of the types of Registered Service Dog for which deductions are allowed:

Calorie-alert Dog
These dogs provide a valuable service to dieting handlers by snarfing a box of donuts before their humans can. Coffee cake and muffins may also be deductibles with a receipt.

Doggy-do Pups
For those who often find themselves less able to find a date for galas, soirees, or other ‘do’s, these canines can step in and help. Young pups tend to be in greater demand than aging bitches. Itemize mani/pedi and hair styling costs separately. Note that the doggy’s do may be deductible – including conditioner – while anything related to doggy doo is not.

Dog Park Dog
Drivers with limited parking abilities and who own vehicles unequipped with a parking assistance devices can be guided by a Dog Park Dog. The woof pattern indicates when it is safe to back up and when it is more advantageous to shift out of reverse. For those with special needs to find the closest parking spot –  even at the gym – additional training can be given. Note that bumper replacement is not a deductible if the woof pattern was interrupted by an act of nature such as the near proximity of squirrels.

FF Dog
The Fashion Faux-pas Dog alerts its handler of fashion-threatening events. These canines reduce the chances of being handicapped by bad-hair episodes or mismatched socks. Deductibles include gels, hosiery and toothpicks.

Hangnail Prevention Dog
Trained to nudge lotions and creams toward their handlers, these dogs are essential in maintaining a person’s ability to function at home and at work. Deductibles include oil- or water-based, scented or unscented, unless the fumes of the scented trigger allergic reactions.

LAP Dog
Dogs specially trained to be Lively at Parties (LAP) offer the socially awkward an alternative to being homebound. Receipts may be needed for accessories such as Frisbees and tennis balls.

Math-assistance Dog – Assistance is dependent upon the severity of the math deficit but typically involves burial. For example, dogs of handlers who insist they still have money in the bank because they still have checks in their checkbook will dig a hole in a potted plant, dirty laundry or a teenager’s bedroom. Dogs of handlers with a tendency toward excessive online shopping will treat a mouse and/or small laptop as a chew toy.

Enough silliness? Yes, these are made-up, imaginary and silly examples.

The registration proof required by the IRS for service dog tax deduction is not. Deductions may be the only way some handlers can afford the extra costs of a service dog. Vet fees add up. Harnesses alone can cost hundreds of dollars. Anyone can go online, register their ‘service dog’ and satisfy the IRS, regardless of ADA regulations. It’s enough to make a disabled handler bury their heads beside Mr. Groundhog.

1 Comment

  1. michelle wegler says:

    Really?????? I thought you were kidding, but I’m afraid you’re not! Maybe I can get an artist-assist dog? Oops, sorry, not funny *&#!

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