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Auntlala1
New Member

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

We had to pay a cleaning fee for the apartment.... She is on Social Security and medicare......
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xmasbaby0
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/5590114

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

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7 Replies
Carl
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

First, has your daughter been declared totally and permanently disabled and unable to work, by a medical professional? This matters if your daughter is over the age of 18. Also need to know her age on Dec 31 of the tax year you are asking this question for. 2017 I presume.
Was the dog purchase upon "advice" or the "recommendation" of a licensed medical professional?
Auntlala1
New Member

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

yes she is permanently disabled and unable to work ...she is 32 years old and yes the recommendation of her doctor
xmasbaby0
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/5590114

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
xmasbaby0
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

The "cleaning fee" is probably a real stretch.
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Opus 17
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

Cleaning: no.
Emotional support animal: Not a guide dog.  This is a gray area, see below.  Claim the deduction at your own risk.
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Carl
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

yeah I agree xmasbaby. house cleaning fees aren't going to cut it with the IRS.
Opus 17
Level 15

My adult daughter has 6 brain disorders and is our dependent....Upon advice of a Dr. we bought her a emotional therapy dog and I am wondering what expenses we can deduct

Your child can be your dependent if she is over age 19 but is disabled, and does not provide more than half her own support.  For tax purposes, disabled means unable to perform gainful work due to a condition that is permanent, or likely to last at least one year, or likely to lead to death.

If she is your dependent, you can deduct medical expenses, or pay for her medical expenses from an HRA, FSA or HSA.  The deduction is hard to reach, you can only deduct  the part of your medical expenses that are more than 10% of your income.

An emotional support animal is probably not deductible.  Here's the problem: a service animal is an animal that is trained to perform one or more assistive tasks for a disabled person.  The costs of buying, training, and providing room and board for a service animal, are allowable medical expenses.  However, an emotional support animal, that provides comfort through it's own natural behaviors and has no special training, is a gray area.  Emotional support animals don't provide "treatment for a disease or condition" if they aren't trained.  Of course, some emotional support animals are trained -- such as to detect and respond to seizures or emotional outbursts.  If the animal is trained to perform some kind of assistance, then it is an allowable medical expense.  If it only provides comforts through it's natural untrained behaviors, this is a gray area and different authorities go both ways, as far as I know there is no definitive IRS ruling.

You can use the child and dependent care credit (or a dependent care FSA) if you pay for care for your dependent who is unable to care for themself, if the care is provided so that you (and your spouse if married) can work.  But expenses for home services (cleaning, housekeeping) are not allowable unless they are a trivial or incidental part of the day care.  If you have a home care aide who provides care for your child while you work and also cleans the house, etc., you will need to divide the cost.

A home care aide may also be an allowable medical expense if the aide provides medical care.  Again, you have to split their time: an aide who provides medical care 25% of the time, housekeeping 25% of the time, and dependent care so you can work 50% of the time; you can apply 25% of the cost to a medical expense deduction, 50% to the child and dependent care credit, and no deduction for the time spent doing housekeeping.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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