taxes

Allegra and Ruby Assist With Tax Preparation

cats-taxes

‘Tis the season. Many of us are working on our taxes, and whether you’re super organized and only have to download your data into Turbo Tax, or whether you’re still using a shoebox system, haven’t you wished that someone else could do this chore for you?

Enter the Feline Tax Assistant. The main responsibilities of a feline tax assistant position are to assist and support hinder their human in organizing receipts, entering data in spreadsheets walking across the keyboard, printing said spreadsheets batting at said spreadsheets as they come out of the printer, and helping their human locate missing receipts chasing receipts all over the office. Continue Reading

A tax write-off for cat care expenses?

 claim kittens as dependents?

As cat parents, we all wish, come tax time, that we could claim our feline family members as dependents or, at the very least, claim some of the expenses for their care on our tax return. While you can’t do it for your own cats, you may be able to deduct some expenses related to volunteering with or fostering for a legitimate cat rescue organization.

A recent court case in California garnered quite a bit of attention for this issue. From the Don’t Mess With Taxes blog:

“Jan Elizabeth Van Dusen claimed $12,068 as a charitable contribution deduction on her 2004 tax return for unreimbursed volunteer expenses she incurred while caring for feral cats.

The Oakland, Calif., attorney volunteered with Fix Our Ferals, an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) organization. Van Dusen trapped feral cats, had them spayed or neutered, housed them while they recuperated, got the animals vaccinated and other necessary medical treatments and then released them back into the wild. She also provided long-term foster care to cats in her home.

Essentially, according to filings in the tax deduction case, Van Dusen devoted her entire life outside of work to caring for the cats:

Each day she fed, cleaned, and looked after the cats. She laundered the cats’ bedding and sanitized the floors, household surfaces, and cages. Van Dusen even purchased a house “with the idea of fostering in mind.” Her house was so extensively used for cat care that she never had guests over for dinner.

Upon reviewing Van Dusen’s 2004 tax return, the agency determined that she owed $4,383. Most of the due tax was from the IRS’ disallowance of her charitable deduction of cat care expenses.”

Van Dusen took her case to Tax Court, where a judge found that her care of the cats did qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation. However, he disallowed some of the claimed expenses, such as cremation of a cat, bar association dues and department of motor vehicle fees, saying they were “categorically not related to taking care of foster cats and therefore not deductible.” The judge also found that the woman wasn’t keeping adequate records of the expenses.

IRS Publication 526 states that

You can claim a deduction fo:r a contribution of $250 or more only if you have an acknowledgment of your contribution from the qualified organization or certain payroll deduction records.

If you made more than one contribution of $250 or more, you must have either a separate acknowledgment for each or one acknowledgment that lists each contribution and the date of each contribution and shows your total contributions.

This is good news for those who volunteer for a legitimate recue group with 501(c)(3) status designating the group as a charitable organization, which makes it good news for animal rescue.

As with all tax related issues, you should always consult with a qualified tax advisor before claiming any deductions on your tax return.

Click here to watch a Wall Street Journal report titled Cat Lady Beats IRS in Court.

Do you volunteer with a legitimate cat rescue group? If so, do you deduct expenses related to your volunteer activities?

Photo: morguefile

Taxes and gratitude

Over the last few days leading up to Tax Day, I’ve been hearing a lot of people complain about having to write a check to the IRS, about how much they have to pay in taxes, and about how everything just keeps getting more and more expensive.  This seems to be the prevailing “story” and it makes for good conversation around the water cooler and in social situations, because it’s something everybody can agree on, right?

Well, maybe you should rethink how you think and talk about taxes and money in general.  Thoughts and words carry energy and send a vibration into the world.  The vibration you send out guides what you attract into your life, so by thinking and talking about money from a place of lack and scarcity, you will only attract more of the same into your life.

Why not change your story and think about money from a place of gratitude?  If you didn’t have to pay taxes, it would mean you’re not making any money.  Write that check to the IRS from a place of appreciation!  I know – it’s a leap in consciousness, but shifting how you view money really works.

The following is an excerpt from an Abraham Hicks workshop set to beautiful music and lovely images from nature.  It’s a wonderful explanation of how your money situation can’t change unless you change your vibration.  The music and images enhance the message by reinforcing Abraham’s core teachings of allowing things into your life by being in a state of appreciation.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1kyiPwZy5k&feature=related