It’s true that dog owners are required to pay taxes on any income over certain amounts, but most state laws do not go that far. So it’s important to understand that dog and cat owners are no more or less liable for paying taxes than a car driver is for parking tickets.
Even if you do live in the state your dog or cat lives in, you’re still responsible for the state’s dog and cat license tax. You can learn more about the dog and cat tax, which can be paid online or by phone, on this handy map:
What does all of this mean for dog owners?
If you’re a dog owner, the most important thing to know is that taxes pay for state services and can make a real impact on pet food and veterinary care and veterinary costs. If you don’t pay the dog licensing, pet tax or pet spay/neuter fees, your property could be damaged or lost – that’s just what you don’t want to happen.
For example, when state government does not levy a dog license tax on every dog, you could see tax money instead used to fund your pet’s health insurance, veterinary care, grooming and boarding, and perhaps even boarding a friend’s pet while you’re not home.
You’re also responsible for paying the other kinds of state dog registration fees, including registration fees for all adult dogs in your household without having a pet.
While you might think that it’s only appropriate to pay state taxes once your dog is properly licensed and registered, you will likely be surprised by the reality that many states pay these fees every three years.
It’s worth noting, however, that the fees aren’t deducted from your taxes as long as you have the proper paperwork. If you want to make sure you still pay the fee, you can get certified copy paper copies of your state application or renewal forms online. (If you haven’t applied for your state registration and license by the deadline, your fee may be due as early as the time you apply.)
What about cat owners?
While states levy fees for different things, it’s important to remember that pet tax isn’t just for pets. Many other things that pet owners receive as benefits also fall under this tax category. But if you already paid the tax on your pet, you don’t need to worry about it.
Some states require you to include pet owners in the tax return itself, so you’re not just responsible for your pet’s monthly bill
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