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Can I Claim My Dog As A Dependent?Monday 02/06/2012
DwayneDwayne Briscoe / Bookkeeping-Results, LLC
Owner / QuickBook Pro Advisor

888-692-2083 / 713-898-1648
Can I Claim My Dog As A Dependent?

So many people try to see how much money they can get back when trying to file their taxes, but unfortunately Muffin Top and Killer wouldn’t sound too good on a return under your list of dependents.  Surprisingly a few members of Congress have tried to pass addendums in the past to allow Americans deduct expenses attached to their pet, but until that happens, it’s worthwhile reviewing what the rules are.


1. Your 2011 exemption for dependents reduction is $3,700. Because many people will try to claim each other’s children, nieces, nephews, it makes it very appealing to try to lower their tax liability.  However you have to ask yourself is it really worth the hassle of working to openly defraud the government in this avenue.


2. My spouse doesn’t work but I do. When filing jointly, it doesn’t matter if your spouse does or doesn’t work.  You don’t get anything extra.  On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse.  However if you’re filing a separate return from your spouse, you can claim them if they had no gross income, not filing a joint return, and were not the dependent of another taxpayer.


3. Dependent exemptions. Each dependent gives you the opportunity of being an exemption however those dependents must be qualified by 5 tests which include: relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return.  A dependent can be your qualifying child or qualifying relative, if those 5 tests are met.  You can find more information about those tests in the IRS Publication 501. Also remember, you must list the Social Security number of any dependent for whom you claim an exemption.


4. If I claim someone as a dependent, do they still have to file a return? Check with your tax preparer on what income was unearned, earned, your marital status and any special taxes you owe.


5. Can my ex-spouse and I both claim our dependents? Unfortunately only each individual dependent can be claimed only once (no double-dipping).  If it’s not spelled out in the divorce decree, then it needs to be determined before you both file your tax returns.


6. Why can’t I claim someone as my dependent? To claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children. Again if you’re not sure, review the IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for additional tests to determine who can be claimed as a dependent.



About Our Show Advisor: Dwayne Briscoe is the founder and owner of Bookkeeping-Results, LLC.   Dwayne began his company in January 2007, based on the foundation to educate small business owners and bookkeepers who use QuickBooks®.  Working as a full-charge bookkeeper and trainer in a variety of industries for over 15+ years, he is a certified Pro Advisor with 5 certifications, including Enterprise Solutions and Point of Sale.  He is also an instructor at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, where he teaches basic accounting, QuickBooks®, and basic payroll, along with hosting his own private classes.


Bookkeeping-Results, LLC has focused more on quality and not quantity for their clients, by paying attention to the details.  Through regular continuing education participation, as well as exploring additional ways of “thinking outside of the box” to help expand people’s knowledge of their own financial well being, it’s important to focus on not only saving the client money but also making the client money.

Previously broadcast from:
SKL @ 11/07/2011 - 01/03/2014
CBS Radio's Talk 650 10/12/2009 - 07/01/2011
CNN 650 Radio News 11/08/2006 - 10/08/2009
KSEV AM700 04/04/2005 - 10/30/2006

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