10 Bizarre Tax Returns | Tax Preparation Phoenixville, PA

10 Bizarre Tax Write Off’s

As you prepare your taxes, keep in mind that there are many possible tax deductions that may apply to you. In fact, there are so many options that some deductibles are a bit more specific, while others are just plain bizarre.

  1. Meeting on a tropical island

This time of year, when snow is piled on the ground and temperatures plunge below freezing, traveling to a warmer climate sounds pretty appealing. If you escape to a tropical island for a meeting relating to your business, you may be able to deduct the expenses. The IRS lists several locations where this applies, including Aruba, Bermuda, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Of course, you must be able to prove why it was reasonable to hold the meeting there. If you’d rather be on the ocean than lying on a beach near it, there are also deductions related to attending conventions, seminars and other similar meetings on a cruise ship.

Source: IRS

  1. Dressing like a rock star

Lady Gaga’s meat dress at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards was more than a spectacle; it was also tax deductible. According to the IRS, “musicians and entertainers can deduct the cost of theatrical clothing and accessories that are not suitable for everyday wear”.

Unless Madonna can pull off going to the grocery store in something she wore on stage, chances are she got a tax deduction for her get-up.

Source: IRS

  1. Fishing tackle boxes

The 2004 American Jobs Creation Bill affected an unlikely item: fishing-tackle boxes. Before the bill was enacted, manufacturers had to pay a 10% excise tax on their boxes. But Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) added a provision that eliminated the tax. According to his spokesman, “the problem is that companies are now marketing sewing kits or jewelry boxes [as fishing tackle boxes]…but they’re not subject to the excise tax”.

Source: LA Times

      4. Whaling

The 2004 American Jobs Creation Act also helped Alaskan whaling captains save a boat-load of money. In a provision by former Senator Ted Stevens, whalers can take a $10,000 deduction for money spent on whaling expenses.

Source: IRS

  1. Body oil

If you pump iron for a living, then you can save a bundle on body oil. In 2004, the Tax Court ruled that a professional bodybuilder could deduct the cost of body oil as a business expense because he used it to make his muscles shine during competitions. However, the court didn’t allow deductions for the bodybuilder’s daily supplements (which included buffalo meat and vitamin and energy shakes).

Source: US Tax Court

  1. Breast Implants

An exotic dancer wanted to write off her breast implants as a business expense. She claimed she got  the surgical implants to make her a size 56-FF and therefore receive more tips. Though the IRS initially challenged the deduction, but a Tax Court judge later ruled that the surgery did help increase her income and that the breasts (which weighed 10 pounds each) were so bulky she couldn’t derive personal benefit from them.

Source: LA Times

  1. Damage from Drunk Driving

A man arrested for drunk driving was able to deduct the cost of repairing damage to his car. Apparently, he knew ahead of time that he would be drinking and arranged for a ride home. But after drinking, he thought he was okay to drive and his car ended up sliding off the road. The Tax Court let him deduct the cost of the damage as casualty loss because he had tried to act reasonably by arranging a ride. The judge also pointed out that his blood alcohol was at 0.09%, just over the state’s limit of 0.08%.

Source: US Tax Court

  1. Free Beer

Speaking of drinking and driving, in the 1970’s the owner of a service station had a promotion offering free beer to customers. The Tax Court ruled that the giveaway counted as “advertising and promotion” and allowed the owner to write it off as a business expense.

Source: Leagle

9. Cat Food

How did two junkyard owners manage to pass off cat food as a business expense? They argued that it was a business expense because they used the food to attract feral cats. The cats, in turn kept away rats and snakes from the property and made it more appealing to customers.

Source: US Tax Court

10.  Landscaping

Wish yardwork could be deducted from your taxes? Well if you have a home office, you might be able to do just that. A man worked from home, and often met with clients at his house. He said that’s why it was important that he kept his yard and home presentable. A judge eventually ruled that he could deduct the cost of landscaping and for repairs made to his driveway.

Source: US Tax Court

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