No. Dog walkers or their families generally only pay taxes on the value of the property they own—not on the rent they collect for walking their dogs. These individuals cannot deduct expenses on their tax return. In fact, any expenses for your dog, including the cost of a dog walker, may be deductible.
There’s a catch, though. Tax rules limit how you may deduct animal expenses on your individual and joint return. The only way you can get deductions on your tax return is if the dog’s ownership constitutes the sole reason for the spending. If the dog’s primary purpose for being walked is to prevent boredom, for example, then you must count the dog’s expenses against his own income, no matter how many walkers he has. And even if you have multiple dogs, you can only deduct some expenses against one of your income tax returns, so if your dog is only being walked for entertainment, you cannot deduct any expenses for your dogs’ upkeep.
If you have dogs but not many of them, you may use the Tax-Saving Tips for Dog People (available at Tax.gov and IRS.gov) to help you manage your pet expenses.
What do “walkers and their families” mean?
We’re talking about a group of people (or families) that are paid to walk your dog at a park or other public place on your behalf.
Why should they be taxed on their dogs’ expenses?
When the government funds your pet walking service, tax rates on the fees they receive apply only to the money you paid. Dog owners, on the other hand, can deduct their own expenses only against the money they provided. By contrast, if the government helps pay the rent you charge your dog’s owner, the owner has a separate deductible income but his dog spending is deductible against his wages. (A recent IRS study found that nearly two-thirds of all taxpayers would prefer to have only their dog’s expense expenses deducted against their income.)
If you own more than one dog, all their expenses must be subtracted against their income until it reaches zero.
What do “taxpayers” have to do to help “walkers and their families”?
Taxpayer status determines what tax deductions you may be able to claim, but only the income, not your expenses, is taxed. Most taxpayers pay taxes on the value of their property, including rent. To claim a deduction, you need to be a taxpayer on a taxpayer’s tax
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