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US members, please help support this bill!

ancientgirl
September 23rd, 2009, 08:35 AM
Here is the info:

From the ASPCA:

USA: Help Make Pet Care More Affordable--Support the HAPPY Act!
(https://secure2.convio.net/aspca/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2605)

Dog and Cat

H.R. 3501—Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act
Sponsor: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
ASPCA Position: Support
Action Needed: Write to your U.S. representative today to urge him or her to support and cosponsor the HAPPY Act, H.R. 3501.

U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter has introduced the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act, legislation to allow individuals to claim tax deductions for qualified pet care expenses. The bill would allow any taxpayer who legally owns one or more domesticated animals to take an annual income tax deduction of up to $3,500 for pet care expenses, including veterinary care costs.

Pet care can be expensive—and in these trying economic times, families all over the country have been forced to give up their pets because of financial hardship. The HAPPY Act is important because it will help Americans provide their pets with the medical attention and quality of life they deserve, while also ensuring that more pets get to remain in their loving homes and don’t wind up on the streets or in the already overburdened shelter system.

From the congressional site:

Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act (Introduced in House)

HR 3501 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3501

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 31, 2009

Mr. MCCOTTER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63 percent of United States households own a pet.

(2) The Human-Animal Bond has been shown to have positive effects upon people's emotional and physical well-being.

SEC. 3. DEDUCTION FOR PET CARE EXPENSES.

(a) In General- Part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to additional itemized deductions for individuals) is amended by redesignating section 224 as section 225 and by inserting after section 223 the following new section:

`SEC. 224. PET CARE EXPENSES.

`(a) Allowance of Deduction- In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction for the taxable year an amount equal to the qualified pet care expenses of the taxpayer during the taxable year for any qualified pet of the taxpayer.

`(b) Maximum Deduction- The amount allowable as a deduction under subsection (a) to the taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed $3,500.

`(c) Qualified Pet Care Expenses- For purposes of this section, the term `qualified pet care expenses' means amounts paid in connection with providing care (including veterinary care) for a qualified pet other than any expense in connection with the acquisition of the qualified pet.

`(d) Qualified Pet- For purposes of this section--

`(1) QUALIFIED PET- The term `qualified pet' means a legally owned, domesticated, live animal.

`(2) EXCEPTIONS- Such term does not include any animal--

`(A) used for research or owned or utilized in conjunction with a trade or business, or

`(B) with respect to which the taxpayer has claimed a deduction under section 162 or 213 in any of the preceding 3 taxable years.'.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by striking the last item and inserting the following new items:

`Sec. 224. Pet care expenses.

`Sec. 225. Cross reference.'.

(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2009.

~*~*~*~*~

Although I don't think it will be like any child allowance, or that you will be able to deduct food and other stuff, it doesn't matter. Many of us know how expensive veterinary care is, and being able to deduct those expenses at the end of the year, just like you can for any other family member would really help!

CearaQC
September 23rd, 2009, 10:49 AM
That sounds all well and good right now, but keep a very very close eye on it in future. Congress and Senate have a very bad habit of tossing stuff in bills at the last minute that the majority of the people don't read. Heck they hardly even read the bills themselves before voting!!

How can they sleep at night, knowing they voted on a bill they didn't read??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW7mOaPnYYA

ancientgirl
September 23rd, 2009, 11:31 AM
You would think that's part of the job requirement. I do think that bills should NOT be 1,000 pages long. 1 bill should not be more than 2 or 3 pages max.

I hope this passes, but I hope it stays as is and doesn't have stipulations and other garbage they usually add to bills in order to pass.

hazelrunpack
September 23rd, 2009, 01:50 PM
Legislatures have a nasty habit of throwing things in on budget bills because they know they have to pass eventually and are usually thrown together at the last minute, but I doubt anyone would piggyback anything on this bill because it's not likely to pass, more's the pity.

Sigh...I'd love a tax deduction for vet expenses, but the argument will be made that pets are purchased and legally property. That's the way they're treated in the law books--property, not dependents. There will have to be a justification for not including deductions for maintenance on other purchased property, like cars. Sad, but true.

Until it's passed out of committee it doesn't hurt to contact the Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means. He's Charles Rangel out of New York.

ancientgirl
September 23rd, 2009, 02:10 PM
I know, Hazel. But we can always hope.

hazelrunpack
September 23rd, 2009, 02:29 PM
:fingerscr :goodvibes:

I'm having trouble browsing to Rangel's congressional page...:o sigh...actually having trouble browsing anywhere at this point :frustrated: If you can get out to it and find his contact info, you might want to post it in this thread so people can contact him more easily.

ancientgirl
September 23rd, 2009, 03:02 PM
I opted to contact my representative directly. Don't know if that's better.:shrug:

hazelrunpack
September 23rd, 2009, 03:17 PM
If it's in committee, your rep won't see it. Not till it comes out of committee and hits the floor will your rep be able to vote on it. So we need to get it out of committee first--and that means contacting the committee chair :thumbs up

ancientgirl
September 23rd, 2009, 03:19 PM
Ah, okay. Let me see if I can find Rangel's info.