HAPPY Act: $3,500 Pet Care Expenses Deduction (Proposed)

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Jim & TobeyWouldn’t you throw your support behind something called the HAPPY Act? I know I would, it sounds so… cheery!

It exists and it’s a bill that has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI). The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act, H.R. 3501, would offer a $3,500 tax deduction for qualified pet care expenses. A qualified pet is a “legally owned, domesticated, live animal” that isn’t used for research or business. Expenses cover pet products, service, veterinary visits, and basically anything that is related to the care of a pet.

It seems like a difficult time to be introducing this bill when we have so many other economic issues to deal with but it sure is sweet. 🙂

First reaction: Frivolous deficit spending? Or legitimate deduction we should entertain?

{ 109 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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109 Responses to “HAPPY Act: $3,500 Pet Care Expenses Deduction (Proposed)”

  1. Kristi says:

    To the people who are supporting this:

    Are you KIDDING me??!! How IDIOTIC is our government, and how STUPID are our citizens? Please, please tell me that most of the “pro” responses are simple facetious. (Look it up if you don’t know the definition of facetious.)

    We have a government that is in serious financial crisis, and yet some idiot wants to introduce a bill that essentially PAYS people to have pets. I own 4 horses, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a bunch of fish, but there is no way I would ever support a bill such as this.

    I agree with the poster who suggested that this bill is more about control than anything else – how do you think the government would keep track of the animals for tax credits? By registering them. Do you WANT your government to know how many animals you have?

    Think about it: The next step is to be told that you aren’t allowed to have more than 1 cat or 1 dog, or you can have X number of pets based on your income.

    Use your heads for more than just a hat rack, people!

    • n Marlow says:

      This is wonderful to help all the pet’s that owners have had to get rid of for financial reasons as well as owners help with taking care of their precious pets. It is about time.

    • bilbo says:

      While I agree with your sentiment that the government has already trashed our privacy, this is a red herring. Most states or counties already require pet registration and tell us we can’t have more than two or three.

      • bilbo says:

        By the way, this would be a tax cut for the middle class, not “paying us to have pets” — yes, it smacks of social-engineering, but a tax cut nonetheless. Tax cuts are one way to help the economy. In fact, when choosing between tax cuts, increasing spending, and increasing the money supply, cutting taxes is the only long-term solution. The other two act to raise interest rates. Increasing spending immediately raises interest rates. Increasing the money supply lowers interest rates at first, until inflation comes around, then lenders must raise interest to match inflation to avoid lending at a loss — unless we keep expanding the money supply faster and faster, which leads to hyperinflation. When the government increases its deficit and the Federal Reserve competes to lower interest rates, long-term inflation is the penalty.

    • Anonymous says:

      There should be a limit on how many animals a person can own based on how capable he/she is of paying for their care. Animals should not be considered property. They are living creatures that we have a responsibility to care for and unfortunately, since many people don’t see it that way, there are people out there who have to take on other people’s throwaway pets… those people deserve a tax break just like someone who is fostering a child would.

    • sarah says:

      Your argument about the government knowing how many pets a person his is ridiculous. The same thing happens with children. It is called a social security number. This is how people who have children get their tax breaks. Don’t think think that giving tax breaks for having children is essentially “paying” people to have children just like you think that this bill will be essentially people being “paid” to have pets!?

    • teala says:

      Kristi you are so much smarter then all of us that you have become paranoid. There is this social network called “facebook” Have you heard of it? I think the Government knows all about you already. lol who is the hat rack now?

  2. Sandra says:

    I love my dog dearly, but I when adopting her from a shelter I understood that having a pet was a luxury. I have insurance for her as well. The problem here with this proposal is that she has health insurance & I don’t. I lost my job 2 years ago & there isn’t even a new one to find. She’s like my daughter & I’d love to have a tax deduction, but I would rather congress work on something more sensible… like the fixing this economy.

  3. Roberta says:

    we adopted a dog from the shelter, many dollars later, she is doing well,, would be nice to get some of the money back,,,,,if we can give all our money to people over seas, and give free heatlh care to people who are supposed to be here in the first place, then we should take care of america first.. period,,

  4. cheryl says:

    I would be very happy to see this passed as I own 6 cats and 1 dog, and have NO children. So, having no children, I am technically discriminated against as far as tax credits are concerned, not fair, huh. So, I chose to have pets and I feel I should be recognized for this.

    • ME says:

      The child tax credit is $1,000 per child regardless of income. Are your pets entitled to more benefits/ tax credits than my child is? No. If this legislation is to pass the credit should be equal. Because I can understand you position and life choice, this compromise change would be fair, even through I personally don’t support this bill. The alternative is to raise the child tax credit to match at the same time that this bill is passed.

  5. Robin says:

    I would be very pleased to see this passed as I am the owner of 7 small dogs. I too chose to not have children and very much enjoy being a pet owner. To keep this deduction honest, should it get passed, I am of the opinion that your pets must be registered with your county/township ordinances and there needs to be a way to prove that the vetinary expenses are legit. It costs me about $6k a year to care for my pets. Between well visits, teeth cleaning, prescriptions (heartguard/frontline)and not to mention if one of them gets sick. There should also be a stipulation that ONLY spayed/neutered pets are deductible. Not sure how this would work, because there will always be people out there trying to scheme the system. The upside is that the townships/counties would benefit from the revenues generated for annual registration of pets.

  6. Robin says:

    One more thought….maybe this deduction should only be at the state level, not the federal. Better yet, why not at the county level in which you live? It really does irritate me that I am forced to pay taxes for schools and I do not have children and never will. Furthermore, people like Octomom who have children at everyone elses expense are abusing the system. I think people who have children should pay more in taxes than people who don’t. Not as a punishment, but for simply accountability of THEIR choices.

  7. Teala Tata says:

    I think this is a great idea. It is very expensive to own a pet and it is a personal choice to have one just like it is a personal choice to have a child. you have to train them so that is like going to school ..give them their shots, feed them, care for them when they are sick..ect.

  8. Teala Tata says:

    I also don’t have children, and am forced to pay for schools ect. I think the people on here that are against it are probably rich and don’t need the deduction. Yes, this country is in trouble from greedy rich people trying to get all of our money from taxes. Tell me where to sign up for this happy act.

    • ME says:

      Tax codes for education and other governmental services apply to all. Should we ask victims of theft, rape, murder, and other crimes to pay for the taxes that apply to the police force? Should retirees with grown children be exempt along with the young adults without children?

      I disagreed with the wars we undertook in the early 2000’s, but I paid taxes that paid for the war, and I support the work of our troops for they are people doing a job on my behalf. We have no way to thank them.

      The problem is that there are too many social divisions that could be made. It isn’t “Fair” that people who chose to have pets and not children have to pay taxes for child services. It is equally unfair for people who can’t have children and want children to be reminded of their situation every time they see children, pass a school, or pay education taxes.

      This world isn’t fair and society must still function. So we all pay for some services for the betterment of society. As I stated earlier, I don’t support the bill, but I don’t begrudge anyone their rights and in this case an equal tax deduction to that of a child.

      Finally, I am a lower middle class person who chose a child and can’t afford the pet I would like, but that doesn’t mean that I want to add to the injustice of the system for my select group’s benefit. Therefore I am offended by the blanket statement about those opposing the bill.

      • teala says:

        But you have a tax write of for your child, I don’t have one for my dogs. They are my children. So it is ok for you to have a write off but not me because I don’t have a child. That doesn’t make sense to me cause I never wanted children I am happy with my dogs.

  9. preparer says:

    i think this is a joke we do not need anymore tax credits

  10. preparer2 says:

    Single taxpayers dont get any tax breaks or married w/ no dependents but a measley dog!!!!!!!!1

  11. Terry says:

    There is an overwhelming amount of domestic animals that end up in shelters, and the majority of them are put to death, simply because there are not enough homes for them. This is a tragedy, some people will make light of this, and even make jokes about it. If you had to watch a healthy dog being taken to a room where he is going to be killed, and have to watch him struggling to get away because he doesn’t want to die, hopefully most people wouldn’t find anything funny about this.

    It’s expensive to take care of pets, and a lot of people who would want a pet, can’t afford to have one. Others who have them, and then suddenly find themselves having to move because they lost their job, end up having to get rid of their pets. If this tax credit were available, a lot more people could afford a pet, and could save the lives of animals in shelters. Having a pet has also been proven to benefit to the emotional well being of humans.

    • DD says:

      I like the idea of it. I know a couple that could not have kids so they chose to adopt an animal. If children can be a tax break for people with them then why can someone raising a pet not be able to use that as a tax deduction.

      I like the idea and hope it does get passed.

    • Luanne says:

      I applaud Terry ! This is exactly what the Tax Act is for. To save pets who are family from having to be given up due to finances. Then YES they end up as a statisic . A dead statistic. I have pets as my kids and have an unexpected vet bill. I will have to take a loan against my retirement to pay for it. The alternative to the vet bill would have been to put my pet down. NOT an option. I can only hope this bill passes this year to help me with this deduction when I do my taxes next year.

  12. Miriam says:

    At this economic destressed times, this is by far on of the most ridiculous suggestion I have ever heard of to come out of Washngton. The people of the good old USA, elected the Senators and Representatives to be our leaders and to insure that the American people are treated fairly and justly, now one of those leaders has introduced such a ridiculous bill. My first thought was that someone was playing a Aprilfools joke on the American public! Wake up America, we are in bad need of change in our government leaders.

    • KRose says:

      Apparently you have never cared or loved a sick animal. Try paying the vet bill. And don’t say that they are just animals. If you are Godly person then you should know God commands us to care for our animals. Not neglect or abuse them. This bill is definitely better than others I have heard of. or how about the cost government spends on just a meal out with friends and claim it is business. I bet just that one dinner alone would pay for my vet bill for a years time. Who is wasting money now?

    • teala says:

      Its no more ridiculous then over turning the abortion act allowing women to not have a choice. Think we are in trouble now, wait till all those unwanted babies are born… The crime rate will go up. Your a silly goose Miriam

  13. MFESRE19 says:

    Like most of the population, we have a family pet. The HAPPY ACT tax deduction would certainly help out. Granted they don’t require as many needs as a human child, but the costs of dog food, toys, pest treatments, grooming, vet visits, are as expensive. Not to mention, we treat a family pet like a child, so why not be able to claim them on our taxes!?

  14. teala says:

    where do I sign up!

  15. Will says:

    I think this is a Wise Tax deduction. I do own two Dogs. They do cost a lot of money to care for, IE. Food, Vet Bills, County Registration, Housing such as fencing and/or Electronic Fencing I.D. Chipping. It would be good to have a Tax break for them since they are considered family to me. I would agree there should be a cap for only two animals and should have proper proof of I.D. and have all shots up to date. They already have a tax break for Animals if they are used for “Business Purposes” so why not for someone who is willing to take care of their pets. And I do agree with Terry about the poor animal trying to get away because he/she does not want to die.. Put yourself in the animals shoes… Imagine you being lead into a room to be shot in the head or put in a small chamber to have all the air vacuumed out till your dead.. You would be on your hands and knees begging to be let out and let live.. It would be nice to be able to make it cheaper for someone to take care of Animals even if the repayment is at the end of the year.. Also I would support it if you would be required to have to spent a certain amount of money before you can get the Tax break and they would have to be fixed to slow down the animal over population unless yo are a breeder. If you can have a lot of kids so you can live off “Tax Breaks” and abuse the system, if you can come to this country and get free money to buy a business and take our jobs away from Americans and STILL no pay taxes back into america due to not being permanent US resident, then why not for two Animals of your choice.

    I say Vote YES for HR3501

  16. KRose says:

    I own a number of pets including two cats with feline leukemia. When we agreed to take in these cats we agreed to the responsibility of caring for them. They got sick after having them for two years. Now what would you have me do? Kill them? Not on your life? God says we are to look after our animals and this I am doing to the best of my ability; however, the cost is outrageous. So far just in the past 4 months we have spent close to $500 just for check ups and tests. Why not get some kind of tax deduction. the Vets that charge these prices are getting them. Just like a Dr. does for our medical care. My fear is this we will soon not have the $ to care for our beloved pets; therefore they are liable to end up dying, sent to the shelter to die, or dropped off in the middle of nowhere to die. Is this the way humanity is to behave? Plus if people were likely to get some kind of tax deduction, I guarantee you will see healthier animals, and less of them roaming the streets and in shelters.

  17. KRose says:

    Just because I am poor are you telling me that I can’t care for an animal? How is controlling who here?

  18. JAMES says:




    • Dan says:

      To JAMES:

      Have you perhaps ever heard of web etiquette? Quit yelling would you. I am a tax payer, and happen to have animals that I consider my family. Would you also advocate that someone has any more right to deduct their “children”? I don’t recall that having kids was a requirement in life and would definitely see it as a luxary; so please, to each their own.

    • teala says:

      We just want a tax write off James you heartless jerk. We don’t want the Government to pay for it. Owning a pet cost more then having a child you girly man. A child can go out and get a job at 16 is covered under your insurance if it gets sick and could possibly take care of your old crotchity ass when you get to old to work and need the Government to kick you down some cash with social security. What ever TAX write offs you have now is retarded. Maybe you can get a tax write off for jerking off.

  19. Allir says:

    Okay James, then we should cut out the tax return for having a baby. People choose to have children, most of them knowing they can’t afford them. My husband and I can’t have children, so we have 2 dogs and 5 cats and live them as our children, and it’d be damn nice to get back some of the money I put into them.

  20. Carol says:

    I have a 83 year old mother, who would be lost with out her dog. I take care of all her Vet bills, so I say YES to this.

  21. Cathy says:

    I really hope this bill is passed. So many pets are abandoned or brought to shelters since people can’t afford their care, especially if they become ill.
    Animals are living beings and shouldn’t be discarded when they have medical issues. It would be wonderful to get some money back as I have spent 4 x as much on all my animals when they have become infirm. A society is judged by the way they treat their people and animals. Wake up you stupid people who don’t want this to pass.

  22. Sam says:

    I like this bill. Last May of 2010 my dog was diagnosis with diabetes and now we give her insulin injections twice daily. Her initial care at the time was very expense which included hospital care and frequent doctor visits totaling about $1,500.00 the first three months. We also now have to purchase her insulin once a month. She has been a part of our family since Feb. 2000 and there was no way that we would not see to it that she receives medical care. It has been financially tough and a bill like this can help people be more responsible of taking care of their pets.
    I wished it was available during this tax year, I needed it.

  23. Pam says:

    Im a widow, house paid for(old house) car paid for, children grown, so no deductions but I still pay high property taxes, utilities,food etc, I have a dog for companionship.One vet visit is $50.00, lab fees another several 100,and she does need to eat, I would love a deduction in my yearly taxes for my beloved dog. I don’t have children that Im feeding with food stamps & taking to the doctor on state access, but my taxes are pay for it.How about a break for me.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Happy Act will make it possible for people to own pets and get them off the streets and out of the shelters and into a loving home.. I have 5 cats & “Happy Act” would be a big help..

  25. jl says:

    It makes sense to have allow a modest deduction.
    I just spent 2,500. related cat’s heart problems. I will likely noe save much this year because of that and will have to spend a bit more in follow ups and medicines. It’s just a proposed deduction from gross income.

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