Any payment or service provided for or requested by a companion animal for the purpose of preventing or reducing suffering, comfort or personal distress can be considered taxable. (To see, for example, if a service of pet sitting is required in a specific circumstance, see below.)
But the following is a hypothetical rule to apply if that service is provided for an additional cost, rather than as part of the animal’s normal routine. Assuming there are no other pets used, the service could be considered taxable if the expense is made by the owner.
Is pet sitting a service that a person may earn taxable income by performing on his or her own?
Pet sitting is not taxable for an owner if:
the owner is an individual, as defined in your employment law; and
the owner performs such service for the owner’s own comfort, rather than for the owner’s benefit;
such service does not result from compensation for a benefit that the owner would have received if the service had not been performed;
the pet satter spends a reasonable amount of time performing the service, not less than 30 minutes, or not more than 45 minutes for every hour of service;
the pet satter and the owner are able to communicate with each other about the pet sitting; and
whether the purpose of pet sitting is for the owner’s emotional comfort or the pet’s physical or mental well-being.
What if my pet is sick, injured, or needs medical attention?
The law is confusing right now about what pet sitting can mean – if anything – if one of your pets is sick or injured. In general, if the animal is seriously injured or is in need of medical attention, it should be considered a pet sitter and not a person. This does not only apply to your pet if you choose to adopt him or her as an occasional or temporary companion when you aren’t home — though pets aren’t eligible unless they live as a pet. It also applies to your pet if you decide to allow one to be your employee.
So if your pet is in need of a veterinarian’s care, the law might give you a break, provided you keep your pet home from home. If you have chosen to keep him or her, as an employee, and the law says you should keep him or her at your home, you don’t need to do anything extra to make sure you aren’t liable for any taxes on his or her earnings. Note that this same rule does not
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