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New law: all persons with disabilities can claim tax credit on assistance dog expenses

An amendment of tax law, which is due to enter into force on 1 January 2018, provides wider access to the “rehabilitation credit” for owners of assistance dogs.

Under the new law, all persons with disabilities will be able to claim a tax credit on assistance dog expenses. So far, the Personal Income Tax Act granted this right only to persons who are visually impaired and whose degree of disability was officially determined as “substantial” or “moderate”, and also to persons with a “substantial” degree of physical disability.

In November 2016, the HFHR called on the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy for changing these regulations (detailed information is available here).

“The previous law was, in our opinion, discriminatory and unreasonably differentiated entitlements available to persons with disabilities based on the type and degree of their disability”, says Dr Dorota Pudzianowska, HFHR’s legal expert.

“The new regulations, effective as from 1 January 2018, will enable all persons with disabilities to claim expenses related to the upkeep of an assistance dog as part of the “rehabilitation credit. The amendment’s explanatory memorandum emphasised that this legal reform had been undertaken in response to the HFHR’s proposals”, says Foundation’s lawyer Jarosław Jagura.

“We are glad we were able to communicate this problem the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy and the Minister of Finance. This was a success of the Foundation. Still, we have succeeded because we were asked by a client to help her with her case. Now, thanks to the tax credit, all persons using assistance dogs will be able to save money”, says Adam Klepczyński, a lawyer working with the HFHR.

The maximum deductible amount of assistance dog expenses is PLN 2280.

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