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Level 1

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

 
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Level 20

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

A service animal is an animal that has been trained to perform one or more assistive tasks to assist a person with an illness or disability. If your animal is trained to assist you with a disability then you can deduct the cost as medical expenses. 

Support animals -- that provide support through their own natural behaviors but which are not specifically trained to provide assistance -- are more complicated.

"The costs of buying, training, and maintaining a service animal to assist an individual with mental disabilities may qualify as medical care if the taxpayer can establish that the taxpayer is using the service animal primarily for medical care to alleviate a mental defect or illness and that the taxpayer would not have paid the expenses but for the disease or illness."

"A taxpayer who claims that an expense of a peculiarly personal nature is primarily for medical care must establish that fact. The courts have looked toward objective factors to determine whether an otherwise personal expense is for medical care: the taxpayer’s motive or purpose for making the expenditure, whether a physician has diagnosed a medical condition and recommended the item as treatment or mitigation, linkage between the treatment and the illness, treatment effectiveness, and proximity in time to the onset or recurrence of a disease"  "A personal expense is not deductible as medical care if the taxpayer would have paid the expense even in the absence of a medical condition."

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/10-0129.pdf

So if you are audited, you would bear the burden of proof for all these factors.  That you did not own the animal before, only bought the animal because you were advised to by your doctor to treat a mental defect or illness, and would not have bought the animal if you did not have an illness.

You would list the expenses along with other medical expenses on the Deductions and Credits page.  To get any benefit, you must itemize your deductions (not use the standard deduction) and your medical expenses must be more than 7.5% of your income.
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Level 20

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

Was it prescribed by a licensed medical professional?
Level 1

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

yes and with certification certificate
Level 20

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

Not everything prescribed by a doctor is a qualified medical expense for the IRS.  Publication 502 states:

Guide Dog or Other Service Animal
You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually impaired or hearing disabled person, or a person with other physical disabilities. In general, this includes any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality of the service animal so that it may perform its duties.

This doesn't say anything about support animals.

Further, the ADA makes an important distinction between service animals and support animals.  A service animal is trained to perform one or more assistance tasks, and service animals are protected by the ADA and must be accommodated in most cases.  Support animals, which provide support through their own natural behaviors but are not trained to perform an assistance task, are not protected by the ADA.  (Incidentally, someone such as a hostess at a restaurant or gate agent at an airport may not ask you what your illness or disability is, but they can ask you what assistance task your animal is trained to perform.)

Based on IRS publication 502 ("physical disabilities") in combination with the ADA, I don't think you can deduct costs for a support animal as a medical expense unless the animal has been trained to perform one or more assistance tasks for you.
Level 1

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

According to the Fair Housing Act a emotional support (Mental Health issues) animal Housing cannot charge a pet deposit or raise rent because of the ESA.  My dog was prescribed by my MH dr, and is officially certified with the ESA- Emotional Support Animal Registration of America.  The way the law reads for ESA's is that  my dog is basically another piece of medical equipment, such as cane, walker, wheelchair.  Whatever costs I have incurred for her - food, medical, adoption fee, misc. should be deductible as a medical deduction.
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://doglawreporter.blogspot.com/2010/07/irs-affirms-deductibility-of.html">http://doglawreporter....>
Level 1

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

Service dogs have to be specially professionally trained to do a specific  task.
A Support dog does not have to be trained.  My ESA helps me with many things,  major depressive disorder, suicide/hurting myself, drinking.  She just makes me happy as well as anyone who comes in contact with us when we go out.
Level 1

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

I also have mobility issues due to hip and knee replacements, Diabetes II, Tremors  etc.
Level 20

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

The tax code is not the fair housing act.

After doing more checking, my original analysis is wrong, but it is not an open and shut case.  It will depend on your exact facts and circumstances.

This is not part of the tax regulations, but it indicates how the IRS will handle such cases if you are audited.

"The costs of buying, training, and maintaining a service animal to assist an individual with mental disabilities may qualify as medical care if the taxpayer can establish that the taxpayer is using the service animal primarily for medical care to alleviate a mental defect or illness and that the taxpayer would not have paid the expenses but for the disease or illness."

"A taxpayer who claims that an expense of a peculiarly personal nature is primarily for medical care must establish that fact. The courts have looked toward objective factors to determine whether an otherwise personal expense is for medical care: the taxpayer’s motive or purpose for making the expenditure, whether a physician has diagnosed a medical condition and recommended the item as treatment or mitigation, linkage between the treatment and the illness, treatment effectiveness, and proximity in time to the onset or recurrence of a disease"  "A personal expense is not deductible as medical care if the taxpayer would have paid the expense even in the absence of a medical condition."

<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/10-0129.pdf">https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/10-0129.pdf</a>

So if you are audited, you would bear the burden of proof for all these factors.  That you did not own the dog before, only bought the dog because you were advised to by your doctor to treat a mental defect or illness, and would not have bought the dog if you did not have an illness.
Level 1

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

So WHAT FORM would I use if I were able to establish all of that?  I also don't work due to being on SSDI and that is my only income.  Therefore I have not filed taxes since 2009 when I was last able to work.  It looks like to me that my income is nontaxable but I can claim SUPPORT DOG expenses. All of my physical and mental health issues are well documented by the Veteran's Hospital.  I am willing to risk an audit but don't think it will happen.  I also plan to file on TurboTax.
Level 20

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

If you have no taxable income then there is nothing you can do on a tax form or the IRS to get money or a deduction for a support animal, or any other medical expense.  Tax deductions decrease your taxable income and reduce your tax.  If you have no taxable income, there is nothing to deduct FROM.

In turbotax if you were claiming a medical expense deduction, you go to the deductions and credits page and click on Medical Expenses.  In some cases, if medical is not displayed, you may need to scroll down and look for something like "show more choices" or "skip and show me everything."  Once in the medical expense interview the program will walk you through a series of categories and ask for your expenses (prescriptions, medical devices, doctors fees, and other categories).  At the end there is "other."  You can also only deduct medical expenses that are more than 10% of your income.  (If your income was $50,000 and you had $8000 of medical expenses, your deduction would be $3000.) Turbotax will do the calculation for you.

But you won't accomplish anything unless you have a high enough taxable income to pay tax and a high enough list of itemized deductions to benefit from medical expenses.  

If you think there is a state tax benefit for a support animal even when you have no income, you would have to check with your state.
Level 20

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

A service animal is an animal that has been trained to perform one or more assistive tasks to assist a person with an illness or disability. If your animal is trained to assist you with a disability then you can deduct the cost as medical expenses. 

Support animals -- that provide support through their own natural behaviors but which are not specifically trained to provide assistance -- are more complicated.

"The costs of buying, training, and maintaining a service animal to assist an individual with mental disabilities may qualify as medical care if the taxpayer can establish that the taxpayer is using the service animal primarily for medical care to alleviate a mental defect or illness and that the taxpayer would not have paid the expenses but for the disease or illness."

"A taxpayer who claims that an expense of a peculiarly personal nature is primarily for medical care must establish that fact. The courts have looked toward objective factors to determine whether an otherwise personal expense is for medical care: the taxpayer’s motive or purpose for making the expenditure, whether a physician has diagnosed a medical condition and recommended the item as treatment or mitigation, linkage between the treatment and the illness, treatment effectiveness, and proximity in time to the onset or recurrence of a disease"  "A personal expense is not deductible as medical care if the taxpayer would have paid the expense even in the absence of a medical condition."

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/10-0129.pdf

So if you are audited, you would bear the burden of proof for all these factors.  That you did not own the animal before, only bought the animal because you were advised to by your doctor to treat a mental defect or illness, and would not have bought the animal if you did not have an illness.

You would list the expenses along with other medical expenses on the Deductions and Credits page.  To get any benefit, you must itemize your deductions (not use the standard deduction) and your medical expenses must be more than 7.5% of your income.
Level 3

Where do i put the different expenses for my emotional support dog

Yes