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If You Foster a Cat, You Can Claim it on your Taxes!

In a groundbreaking victory for animal rescuers around the country, one California animal foster fought the Internal Revenue Service in court – and won! As a result of Van Dusen v. Commissioner,  animal rescuers nationwide that are fostering dogs and/or cats for approved charities may claim the expenses during tax time. That’s right, if you foster a cat, you can claim it on your taxes!

claim your foster cat on your taxes
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

An approved charity is one that is recognized by the IRS with the 501(c)(3) designation as a Not-for-Profit organization. Fostering expenses eligible for deduction are food, medicines, veterinary bills, crates, garbage bags, and the like. Even a portion of your utilities can be considered expenses as long as a specific area of your home is only used for the care of the animals and nothing else.

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You must foster for an approved charity

In addition to animal rescue, these tax laws apply to all volunteer expenses related to charitable work for an approved organization.

If you foster a cat for a 501 (c)(3) rescue (and this includes dogs, too) make sure to save any and all receipts. If expenses add up to over $250 for the year, obtain a letter from the charitable organization that confirms your volunteer or foster status.

The Humane Society has said that their volunteers spend, on average, between $2,000 and $15,000 each year on out-of-pocket expenses related to fostering animals! If you’re spending that much, at the very least you should be writing those expenses off when you pay your yearly tax bill!

if you foster a cat you can claim it on your taxes
Photo by Alisa Matthews on Unsplash

There are currently more than 1.5 million charitable organizations recognized by the IRS, with volunteers spending millions of dollars out of pocket to support them. Finally, those volunteers have an opportunity to be rewarded for their generosity and kindness.

Are you an animal foster? Have you ever claimed those expenses on your tax filing? Share your experiences with us below!

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