Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Pet deductions?

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Interesting post by Margaret Gates on her blog at the Feline Nutrition Education Society:

At the end of July a bill (H.R. 3501) was introduced in the House by Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) that would make the costs of pet care tax deductible. The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act, amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a tax deduction, up to $3,500 per year, for pet care expenses, including veterinary care. It has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Citing that 63% of US households own a pet and that the “human-animal bond has been shown to have positive effects upon people’s emotional and physical well-being," the bill would allow amounts paid in connection with providing care for a qualified pet (other than acquisition costs) to be deductible. A qualified pet is defined as a legally owned, domesticated, live animal. Exceptions would exclude animals used in conjunction with a trade or business, or animals used for research. If passed, this would take effect for the 2010 tax year…

Continue reading.

The question is, of course, whether encouraging pet ownership is in the national interest. I can’t quite see that it is. Certainly I would support government help for pets in nursing homes and residential care—the health benefits of interactions with pets is well established, and I think the government support in that area could be desirable. But for the individual family, it is considerably less urgent than other priorities that are clearly in the national interest: cutting back on military spending, ensuring that every US resident gets good healthcare and a good education, building up the nation’s infrastructure (including true broadband), and the like.

Written by Leisureguy

1 November 2009 at 8:11 am

Posted in Daily life, Government

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