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Last minute tax tips to consider

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Today is tax day! Did you remember to deduct your expenses on your Schedule A for your volunteer work with local animal rescues and shelters?

Fostering a pet is a certain way to receive undivided love and attention from the needy pet, but it also serves you well financially. Let’s take a look at just how your service pays you back two-fold!

According to Petfinder.com, some of the expenses incurred while fostering a pet for a qualified 501 (c)(3) adoption agency can be deducted as services rendered. Some of the expenses include things such as pet food and treats, other pet supplies like leashes, collars, and toys, any veterinary bills, paper towels or bags used for pet clean-up and perhaps even laundry expenses (if towels and blankets are washed after bathing or cleaning up after the foster pet).

If you are a continual foster parent, don’t forget to ask your accountant or personally see if you are able to claim a portion of your home utilities (but these may only qualify if your foster services are large enough and fulfilled often enough). As far as mileage goes, you are able to deduct 14 cents per mile for any trips made solely for the purposes of the rescue organization.

As long as you have done the work upfront, you should have no issues with filing these expenses. Of course it does require strict documentation; you can’t just make things up as you go along for a bigger deduction!

You must have supporting documentation to support your expenses; receipts and canceled checks will serve the purpose. It is also a good idea to track and notate any non-apparent expense as these could look questionable otherwise.

If you have incurred expenses over $250, the pet organization really needs to provide you with a written acknowledgment of this claim. It should contain a description and good faith estimate of the value of services provided. The services must qualify under current tax law.

If you have any questions, ask any of the rescue or shelter organizations in the DuPage County area (a few are listed below):

DuPage County Animal Care and Control

A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter

ARF-IL

A Caring Place Humane Society

Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc.

Naperville Area Humane Society

West Suburban Humane Society

What foster pet parents do is truly important. They should reap the benefits in more ways than one. One way you can win out is by taking tax deductions for the good work that you have been doing throughout the year.

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