Thursday, August 27, 2009

H.R. 3501: The Fido Deduction?

Regular Crumb Crunchers will remember my frequent praise of Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-11) for his principled stand on issues such as taxes, freedom, the Constitution, the SwindleUs Bill and the bailout of Wall Street. He was on such a roll....

On July 31, 2009, unnoticed in the midst of heated debate about health care 'reform' and the onset of the House's August recess, Rep. McCotter introduced H.R. 3501, the Humanity and Pets Partnered through the Years, or HAPPY, Act. I won't even address the silliness of federal legislation being dubbed The Happy Act. It's the bill's purpose that sent me searching for a pooper scooper.

H.R. 3501 would amend the Federal Tax Code to create a deduction for pet care expenses. I kid you not. Here's the actual bill language as posted at Thomas, the Library of Congress site:

H. R. 3501

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


July 31, 2009

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


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,


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


    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.


    (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:


    `(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.
Now, I love my dogs and their care can get pricey, but this is beyond ridiculous. Do our elected officials really have nothing more important to concern themselves with? Here's a novel idea: If you can't afford to care for a pet, don't get one!

Thaddeus, when you're right, I'm with you all the way... but if you leave a steaming pile on the House agenda, I'm gonna have to rub your nose in it.

NOTE: About 10:15 this morning, I called Congressman McCotter's Washington office for comment but the appropriate legislative aide was unavailable. A very nice young woman took my contact information and promised my call would be returned. I'll post an update as soon as that happens.

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