The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released its latest puppy training tips, as the Tax Justice Network (TJN) and the TaxPayers Federation of Australia (TFA) have been calling for a crackdown on tax dodgers.
As the TJN points out, there are currently no state or territory laws that prevent taxpayers from training their own animals.
However, a number of states have introduced laws that restrict the use of tax credits to train pets, and these are set to expire in 2017.
As well as tax credits, TJP states also recommend that owners pay for any additional training costs they incur such as vaccinations and health checks.TJNA’s executive director, Kate Wilson, said that although the ATO had recently introduced rules to curb the use and use of incentives for puppy trainers, the guidelines are not enough.
“We have to put more money into our dog-friendly communities, so we’ve got to do more,” she said.
“It’s also important that taxpayers are able to invest in the care and welfare of their dogs.”
Ms Wilson said that some people were using incentives to pay for puppy trainer services.
“There are a number people who have actually put in a deposit, and then they get an extra tax credit from the government and they can get their puppy trainers registered,” she told AAP.
“Some people will have paid the money for a dog, but then they’ll put the puppy in the training centre and they’ll get a tax credit, so the puppy doesn’t have to come out on its own.”
Tax credits can be claimed for dog-sitting, health check, and vaccinations.
“People will say, ‘Well I’ve got tax credits for health check and vaccination, and I’ve just paid my dog in and it’s gone on to have a good life’.”
Tax credits for puppy trainings vary across the country.
In Victoria, the tax credit is worth $600, and can be applied for from January 1.
“In Victoria there’s no requirement to register, and they do give you a choice to do it, so you can choose to take that $600 tax credit for puppy education,” Ms Wilson said.
In New South Wales, the puppy training tax credit can be purchased from July 1.
In South Australia, the trainer registration fee is $200 and there is no cost for dog education.
In Queensland, a tax rebate of up to $1,000 can be bought, and the tax rebate can be used towards training fees.
However, Ms Wilson warns that there are no state and territory rules that prevent anyone from training any dog.
“You could be training a dog in your own backyard, you could be doing the same thing for dogs that are at a local dog park or dog park in your community,” she explained.
“If you’re in New South Scotland, you’re looking at a $1 tax rebate, which you can use to do the same training in your backyard.”