Volunteers who work with IRS-approved animal-rescue groups may now be eligible to deduct unreimbursed expenses that help the group’s missions, including fostering stray animals, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Earlier this month, a Tax Court allowed Jan Van Dusen, a volunteer with Fix Our Ferals, to deduct expenses associated with the care of foster cats for the charity after she presented her case to the appropriate authorities. The $12,068 in expenses she argued was deductible included: veterinarian bills, litter, paper towels, garbage bags, food and a portion of her utility bills.
The judge’s written decision in her case, clarifies the rules for anyone deducting unreimbursed charitable expenses of $250 or more, especially if they involve use of a home, the newspaper reported.
Animal rescue experts say those who foster animals likely spend well more than $250 in unreimbursed expenses.
The Humane Society told the Journal, they estimate many of their volunteers spend up to $2,000 of their own money a year to help animals in need. Depending on the situation, that number can be as high as $15,000.
The IRS has 90 days to appeal the decision. They declined to give a comment to newspaper.