Question: I have a dog that I use for medical reasons. Are the costs of this dog tax deductible?
Sarah Y, Vancouver, WA
Answer: Yes. The IRS has ruled that any service dogs used for medical purposes are tax deductible. These animals have been used for a long time to assist blind and deaf citizens.
Now, the IRS has extended this to include those with mental disabilities, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In order to back up this tax deduction, make sure that you have something in writing from your medical professional so that you can prove that the dog is a medical necessity rather than a strictly personal expense. Please also remember that any medical expenses are limited to amounts over and above 7.5% of your income and you must itemize tax deductions in order to claim this deduction at all. It could also be reimbursed under a medical reimbursement plan with a business.