Outrageous Tax Deductions

We are all on the look-out for ways to save money on our taxes.

Here are five deductions taxpayers tried to take and were denied:

  • THE COST OF TRAFFIC CITATIONS – Just because you are running late to a business meeting doesn’t make the cost of a citation deductible.
  • QUESTIONABLE DEPENDENTS – Just because “Buddy” dog does not receive financial compensation, and depends on you for everything, does not make your pet a dependent on your tax return.
  • COST OF HIRING AN ARSONIST – A taxpayer with a failing business decided to hire someone to burn it down.  The deduction for hiring the arsonist was denied.
  • COST OF DAUGHTER’S WEDDING – Sure, weddings are entertaining and sure, some weddings are business motivated, but deducting the full cost of a wedding as an entertainment expense was disallowed.
  • EXPANSIVE HOME OFFICE EXPENSES – Deductions on a home office are limited to the portion of the home dedicated to the business.  Some taxpayers have attempted to write off the entire cost of home remodeling, landscaping, mortgages and even groceries.

And five deductions that taxpayers did take, and were allowed:

  • FREE BEER – A gas station owner gave his customers free beer with a fill-up.  The tax court confirmed the owner’s business deductions.
  • CAT FOOD – A junkyard owner was allowed to write off the cost of cat food set out to attract wild cats.  The cats took care of the local rat and snake population and kept the place safer for customers.
  • A TRIP TO BERMUDA – Business and education conventions held in Bermuda are deductible without proving a special reason for the convention to be held there.  Some other Caribbean countries, all U.S. possessions, Canada and Mexico also enjoy this tax treatment.
  • A NEW SWIMMING POOL – A taxpayer suffered from a medical condition that could be alleviated by swimming (under his doctor’s orders, of course).  He was allowed a deduction for the cost of construction of the pool, plus operating costs.
  • YOUR CHILD’S CLARINET LESSONS – A woman was allowed a tax deduction for the cost of her child’s clarinet lessons.  She was allowed the deduction because playing the clarinet corrected her child’s overbite (caution – consult with your dentist first).