I am often amazed at some of the ideas that are propagated by people who claim to be tax professionals. One of the most amazing I have ever seen is the idea that you can deduct the family pet as a business tax deduction. The reasoning for this is twofold, one as a security dog and one as advertizing. Neither of which is a legal tax deduction under most circumstances.

It is true that you can deduct a security dog on your business taxes; however this cannot be the family pet. The dog has to be documented as a true security dog. These types of dogs are usually set loose at night to guard facilities, they are also trained to attack and protect. There are a few family dogs that have this training but it has to be documented that the dog does have the correct certifications.

Just taking a picture of your dog and placing them on your advertizing, web site or business cards also does not make the expense related to your dog a business expense. There are some dogs who are professional actors and models, their expenses are deductable if their owner is in the business of raising or training these dogs. If it is an occasional undertaking it is considered a hobby and the expense are only deductable to the extent of the income.

The next time someone tells you something is deductable do the research and find out or talk to your tax advisor. Remember the basis of any tax deduction is having good documentation.