Ever wonder why you can’t get a straight answer from your accountant or bookkeeper? Seems every time you ask them a question; they’re always answering with something like, “It depends.” Honestly, that really is the answer to every accounting question I have ever come across!

There really are no two tax situations that are the same, especially when you are dealing with multiple regulations that often contradict each other. It can depend on the state you are in, the business entity you have chosen or even the number of hairs on your head (not really, but sometimes it feels like that).

So what are a few “it depends” questions?

Can I claim my adult child who lives with me? It depends:

  1. How much money did they make?
  2. Are they in college?
  3. What is their age?
  4. Are they married?
  5. Did they file a tax return claiming themselves?

Can I deduct my dogs vet bills? The general answer is no, but there are always exceptions. So, it depends:

  1. Is it a medical service dog?
  2. Is it a trained security dog and do you have a reason for having a security dog other than watching the kids?
  3. Is the dog a trained and working volunteer dog such as search and rescue?

I bought an RV, can I deduct it? Maybe, it depends:

  1. If it has a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area that can be used while not hooked up to an outside source such as electricity then you might be able to deduct the interest as if it was a second home.
  2. If it can be driven separately (not hooked up to your truck) you might be able to deduct mileage for business travel such as going to a trade show or volunteer work.

I think you get the idea – everything has a “depends,” so make sure you check with your tax professional before assuming it is a deduction. Drop us an e-mail if you have something you want to write off and are not sure if you can. Whether we will answer your question, or not? It depends!