The pet boom in Germany. In the Corona year 2020, an increase of one million pets was registered. No wonder, the signs were in favor of pets. Home office, short-time work and fewer contacts made many feel lonely. The company of an animal roommate came at just the right time. It provides comfort and has been shown to reduce stress. More time at home and only a few leisure opportunities did the rest. The newly gained time was invested in pets. They brought variety, employment and affection. In addition, a dog was a guarantee to be able to leave the house late in the evening during the curfew. The lockdown is over, but the four-legged friend remains. The Bavarian income tax aid gives tips on how the tax office can contribute to its costs.
That's how much pets cost
Man's best friend costs. In terms of lifetime, a dog costs EUR 17.000, a cat EUR 10.000 and a rabbit EUR 720. Most of it has to be borne by the owner himself. Because buying and keeping a four-legged friend is one of the private costs of living. This means that the expenses for daily animal feed, the vet and accessories such as dog baskets, scratching posts or toys are not tax-deductible. The dog tax, which is mandatory in some places, is also included.
Nevertheless, the Income Tax Act offers every pet owner opportunities to enter part of the private expenses for the pet in the tax return within the framework of craftsmen's services, special expenses and household-related services.
These costs are specifically deductible
For example, if you have a specialist create a pond for goldfish and Co. in your garden, you cannot deduct the material costs, but the wages, the machine costs and the travel costs up to 20 percent, up to a maximum of 1.200 euros, directly from the tax liability. The attachment of the cat safety gate on the balcony or the cat flap on the front door by the carpenter can also be claimed as craftsmen's costs.
It quickly happened that the impetuous Bello knocked out an old lady and she was injured in the process. Kitty also likes to walk over the neighbour's new car and leaves marks on the paintwork. Such damage is either covered by the owner's liability insurance or separate animal liability insurance. The animal share of normal liability or the premium payment for animal liability must be entered as special expenses in the tax return. They are taken into account within the framework of the maximum amounts for pension expenses.
If the mobile dog groomer comes to Bello's house, the costs for washing, cutting and laying can be deducted as a household-related service. In principle, this applies to all services provided by third parties in the household of the animal. If Kitty's family goes on vacation and someone comes to feed and clean the litter box every day, there is a tax bonus of 20 percent up to a maximum of 4.000 euros for vacation care. Material costs such as cat food or cat litter are also excluded here. Only travel and working hours can be claimed. But the dedicated dog sitter who picks up Bello from home every day for walks and brings him back has also been one of the household-related services since 2007. If Bello is not (yet) obeying properly and needs a dog trainer, the educational measures are also deductible as long as they take place in the owner's household or garden.
In order for the tax office to accept the expenses for the four-legged friends, cashless payments and invoices are necessary. Since only traders are entitled to issue invoices, the service provider, e.g. for dog sitting, must have registered his business. If the dear neighbor comes by regularly and takes care of Kitty's vacation, the compensation payments for her services, even with bank transfers, will unfortunately not be recognized.
Original content from: Lohnsteuerhilfe Bayern eV, transmitted by news aktuell