Sunday, April 10, 2011

Outrageous Tax Deductions The IRS Might Actually Allow



It's that time of year again…the tax payer vs. the IRS. The "rules" of the tax game say the tax payer looks for every possible deduction to lessen the tax burden while the IRS tries to close every loophole in order to garner as much income as possible.

And to that end, some of the tax payer team members try to bend those rules a little too far with an occasional surprising result.

Dairy Cows…on a Safari?

The owners of a dairy tried to write off an African safari as a business expense claiming that some of the dairy's promotional efforts included wild animals. Even though the concept of "wild dairy cows" is a bit far-fetched, the IRS actually allowed the deduction.

Beer vs. Whiskey…

A gas station owner gave his customers free beer and took the cost as a tax deduction. An Oklahoma businessman tried to deduct several cases of whiskey he gave to clients as an entertainment expense. After a trip to tax court, it was ruled that the beer deduction was allowed but the whiskey deduction was denied. Logical? Not even close.

Burning Down The House…

A Pittsburgh furniture store owner had tried for years to sell his business without any success. Finally in desperation he hired an arsonist to burn it down and collected $500,000 from his insurance company. But then he took the $10,000 he paid the arsonist and deducted it as a "consulting fee." An IRS audit two years later uncovered the crime and both men went to prison.

Thanks, Doc! Come By For A Swim Anytime…

An emphysema patient was told by his doctor that he needed to start exercising. So, the patient installed a swimming pool at his home and deducted it as a "necessary medical expense." Surprisingly, the IRS allowed the deduction including the cost of various chemicals, cleaning, heating and upkeep.

Did She Tango Her Way Home?

While the IRS said okay to the swimming pool deduction, they denied a deduction for dance lessons a tax payer claimed would improve her varicose veins. The reason? "Not medically necessary." That also covered dance lessons for arthritis and nervous disorders.

No, You Can't Deduct Fido's Babysitting

With approximately 75 million household dogs in the U.S., millions of them are left home alone each day. One tax payer hired someone to come to his house and watch his dog while he was at work then tried to deduct the expense using the tax credit intended for children and legal dependents. The IRS said "no way."

"Here, Kitty-Kitty-Kitty!"

Junkyard owners had a nasty snake and rat problem. In an attempt to combat it, they set out bowls of pet food each night to attract the feral cats that roamed the area. The cats ate the pet food and also the snakes and rats. Since the cats made the business safer for customers and employees, the IRS allowed the deduction for the pet food.

And finally…the best for last.

The Bigger The Better?

An exotic dancer wrote off the cost of breast implants, claiming it was a business expense since bigger breasts equaled bigger tips. The IRS agreed, saying the implants were a stage prop essential to her act.

12 comments:

P.A.Brown said...

Gee, nice to know my breasts are a prop. LOL. There is definitely no rhyme or reason to what they accept or don't. You have to wonder if it depends on who gets the tax form.

Samantha Gentry said...

P.A.: I think there's probably a lot of truth to your comment about it depending on who gets the tax form. :)

AJ Nuest said...

And I felt bad about trying to deduct our printer cartridges, even though we run a business from our home. Wonders never cease. Thanks for the great laugh Samantha!!

Berengaria Brown said...

Awesome post, Samantha

Samantha Gentry said...

AJ: I know...I can totally sympathize. You're concerned about ink cartridges for the printer being ok and others are writing off bizarre stuff you wouldn't have the nerve to even think about. :)

Samantha Gentry said...

Berengaria: Thanks for stopping by.

Jim Hartley said...

I heard about one taxpayer, owner of some kind of auto facility, who deducted the cost of dog food, claiming that the dogs were part of his alarm system and the food was necessary for its upkeep!

Samantha Gentry said...

Jim: If the pet food for the feral cats is allowable, then it sure would seem that food for the guard dogs would be. But...who knows when dealing with the IRS. :)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Crazy! Thanks for the laugh. I think I need to go talk to my Dr. about getting more exercise.

Samantha Gentry said...

Stacey: That's what I was thinking, too. And would that make the hunky tanned pool boy a tax deduction? :)

Anonymous said...

I dunno... if you're an exotic dancer, aren't your breasts a business write-off? Same with the feral cats who keep the place rat free. Some of these aren't as crazy as I expected....

Samantha Gentry said...

I think "crazy" is a relative term. Compared to the more "conventional" type of deductions, those certainly stand out as very unusual. :)