Pets cost not only time, but also a lot of money. The tax office can contribute to some costs – tax experts give tips.
Dogs or cats are particularly popular as pets. But also rabbits, guinea pigs or budgerigars give owners a lot of pleasure. Basically, if you buy a pet, you should have a lot of time and patience - and of course think about the costs beyond the purchase of the animal. Which expenses for pets can be deducted from tax are explained by the wage tax assistance association Vereinigte Lohnsteuerhilfe (VLH).
A pet is a lot of fun, but it also costs a lot of money. Some costs can be deducted by owners for tax purposes. (Symbolic image) © CHROME ORANGE/Imago
Tax return: Veterinary costs are generally not deductible
So much in advance: The expenses for the purchase of a pet are usually not deductible, as the VLH explains "Unless you keep your animal for professional reasons." And according to the tax experts, veterinary costs are also generally non-deductible. With one exception: "If you keep an animal only for professional reasons - this includes, for example, police horses or therapy dogs - you can deduct the veterinary costs from your taxes. And as income-related expenses," it says in its message. Submitting a tax return voluntarily can also be worthwhile in many other cases.
Pet liability insurance: costs for the pet are tax deductible
The situation is different if you have taken out pet liability insurance. Because like your own liability, pet liability insurance is one of the private insurances. "This means that the costs for this can be entered as a special expense in the tax return," according to the experts' tip – "provided that the maximum amount has not yet been exceeded".
Grooming: Are costs for the pet groomer tax deductible?
From claw to coat care: If a pet groomer takes over these often quite tiresome tasks, owners can deduct the costs from tax under certain circumstances, as the VLH also describes. As a household-related service. But, according to the experts, using an example: "Your pet actually has to be styled in your own home. If you go to a cat salon in town, you can't deduct the costs."
What if the pet is taken care of during the holiday season?
Also as a household-related service, the costs incurred for the professional care of cats, budgerigars or rabbits may be deductible. But only under the condition that the animal care has taken place in one's own four walls, as VLH informs. "Costs for a kennel where you deliver the pet are not deductible."
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Tax: Always pay bills by bank transfer
Don't forget: "Always pay bills that you want to deduct from your taxes by bank transfer," says the experts. "In the case of animal care, you can only deduct the labor and travel costs, but not the costs for food or other accessories," the VLH also said in a statement.
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Tax return: What are the deadlines?
By the way, the tax return for 2022 must be submitted to the tax office by September 30, 2023. Since this date is a Saturday, the last opportunity to file the declaration is the following Monday and thus October 2, 2023. With the help of an income tax assistance association or a tax advisor, those affected can submit the 2022 return on time even by July 31, 2024. You can also find out here which deadlines apply to the 2023 and 2024 tax returns.