View Full Version : Can Your Pet Save You on Your Taxes?

10-14-2009, 01:40 PM
Can Your Pet Save You on Your Taxes?

Hollywood Tough Guy Robert Davi Teams With Animal Rights Groups to Push for Tax Change
Oct. 13, 2009

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Will Max be a tax break? Can Fido help with FICA?

Animal shelters are overflowing with abandoned pets.A bill making the rounds on Capitol Hill marries two feel-good propositions -- tax cuts and pet ownership -- to generate a novel idea: A tax break of up to $3,500 per person for pet care expenses.

The measure is a legislative long shot. But it's been championed by a veteran Hollywood tough guy and by a conservative Michigan congressman, and has drawn the enthusiastic support of animal rights groups eager to promote pet ownership during economic down times.

"We think this is as much a health care bill as any," said Nancy Perry, vice president of government affairs at the Humane Society of the United States. "It's a human health issue to ensure that pets are provided with better care because of the role they play in our families."

The measure even has a snappy acronym: the HAPPY Act, as in Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years.

"What a pro-active way to be able to help the economy and change the culture in this country around animals," Robert Davi, a veteran actor ("The Goonies," "Die Hard," "License to Kill") who was a main force behind the bill's introduction, told ABCNews.com in a telephone interview.

"This money goes back into the economy, and it encourages people to understand the social responsibilities we have toward animals," Davi said.

I have four pets and 3 animal "investments" (horses). They do cost a bundle to feed and care for. One of my dogs just racked up an enormous vet bill last month.

That said, the last thing I want is to be beholden to the government for my pet ownership. This looks like a 'feel good' bill but how long before the tax break becomes a positive enforcement measure? You can write off Fluffy's expenses but you also have to get Fluffy a wellness check every year and allow bureaucrats entrance to your home to ensure that Fluffy has a "meaningful environment"?

Sure, 10 years ago this kind of speculation would have seemed like Coast-to-Coast crazy talk. Does it really seem that far-fetched today?

ABC (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/pets-save-taxes-congress-debate-happy-act/story?id=8811927)