Thursday, March 15, 2012

Income Tax Deductions for a Service Dog in BC

In Canada, any costs incurred to care for and maintain a service dog are allowable as a deduction IF the animal is provided by a person or organization whose main purpose is to train such animals. Things such as costs for certification, annual local licencing fees, food, grooming, veterinary bills, (especially for routine checks, vaccinations) etc. In BC, these dogs must be certified to qualify. Does this mean owner-trained dogs do not qualify? This is a grey area and one to ask your income tax person about.

¶ 52. The costs of acquiring and the care and maintenance (including food and veterinary care) of an animal qualify as medical expenses under paragraph 118.2(2)(l) as long as certain conditions are met. These costs must be paid on behalf of a patient who is blind, profoundly deaf or who has a severe and prolonged impairment (see ¶ 1 above) that markedly restricts the use of the patient's arms or legs. The animal must be specially trained to assist a patient in coping with his or her impairment and the animal must be provided by a person or organization one of whose main purposes is the training of animals for this purpose. The patient's reasonable travel expenses incurred for the purpose of attendance at, and reasonable board and lodging expenses incurred for the purpose of full-time attendance at a school, institution or other facility that trains persons with the same kind of impairment in the handling of such animals will also qualify as medical expenses."