If You Live in California, You May Be Able to Write off Veterinary Bills on Future Taxes

Posted by Paige Cerulli
golden retriever puppy playing with a stethoscope vet

California pet owners may be in for a nice tax break, as a new bill proposes they should be able to write off veterinary expenses. 

When you fill out your taxes, have you been tempted to list your pets as dependents? While only human dependents qualify for write-offs, our pets are our children, too, and depend on us just as much as human children do. While convincing the government to allow pets to qualify as dependents is still a long ways off, thanks to a new bill, California residents may soon be able to write off veterinary expenses.

Devon Mathis introduced Assembly Bill 942 last week. If passed, the bill would allow California residents to write off half of the veterinary bills that their dogs and cats incur each year. This would include check-ups, vaccinations, surgeries, and prescriptions.

Female Veterinary Surgeon Treating Dog In Surgery

For Californians, this could mean a hefty tax write-off. Routine veterinary bills can be multiple hundreds of dollars each year. And emergency veterinary treatments and surgeries can run into the thousands of dollars. If your pet is on medication, you may be spending significant amounts of money each month. In 2016 alone, Americans spent $16 billion on veterinary care for their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association.

This bill could have positive effects for both people and their pets. Faced with significant veterinary expenses, a pet owner may be more inclined to opt for life-saving veterinary procedures for their pet, knowing that part of their expenses will be applied to a tax credit. And with so many shelter pets still needing homes, this tax break might encourage people to make the decision to get a pet.

What do you think? Should veterinary expenses qualify as tax write-offs? Are there other pet-related expenses that you think should also be deductible? Let us know in the comments. 

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If You Live in California, You May Be Able to Write off Veterinary Bills on Future Taxes