Tax Court Rescues Kitties — well not exactly, but almost. The Tax Court sided with an animal rescue worker to allow her deduct her expenses for rescuing cats. So — Tax Court helps cat lady who helps kitties. A win for all!
Tax Court rescues tax deductions for a charitable cat lady.
In a highly publicized case involving an issue never previously considered by the courts, the Tax Court in Van Dusen, (2011), has held that unreimbursed expenses incurred by an animal volunteer rescue worker in caring for more than 70 stray cats in her home qualified for a charitable income tax deduction. In allowing the deduction, the Tax Court rejected the position of the IRS that the taxpayer was incurring nondeductible personal expenses by acting as an independent cat rescue worker and not rendering volunteer services on behalf of a charitable organization. The case has been hailed as a victory for volunteers of animal rescue groups like the ASPCA and the Humane Society and is considered to pave the way for volunteers of such organizations to deduct unreimbursed expenses. The court’s decision provides an excellent roadmap for volunteers of animal rescue groups and other charitable organizations to follow in order to deduct their unreimbursed expenses as charitable contributions.