November 2, 2015

37160972_sThe U.S. Tax Code allows for numerous strange but lawful tax deductions that most taxpayers aren’t aware of. Here are some of the bizarre deductions that might help save you some cash in the next filing season:

Swimming Pools

Your home swimming pool may qualify as a deductible medical expense if you have a condition that may improve with a swimming exercise regimen. An elderly man diagnosed with emphysema built a new pool on his property after doctors ordered him to get more exercise. He argued that family members rarely used the pool for recreational purposes, and that its primary purpose was for his medical care. The man was also able to claim the pool’s operating costs, inclusive of electricity, repairs, chemicals, and insurance.

Pet Moving

You are probably aware that moving expenses are considered tax deductible if you lose your job and need to relocate for a new job. What you may not be aware of is that you can also include the cost of moving your pet from your old home to your new home in this write off—whether it’s your dog, cat, bird, or any other pet you may have.

Pet Food

 A couple that ran a junkyard put out cat food to attract wild cats and attempted to write off their cat food expenses in their 1995 tax return. The Tax Court approved the deduction as a business expense after learning that the wild cats were used to control rats and snakes, therefore making the property a safer place for customers.

Clarinet Lessons

 A 1962 provision was added to the IRS after orthodontists contended that playing the clarinet helps with a child’s overbite. This means that clarinet lessons are considered a medical expense in certain situations, and are therefore tax deductible.

Improving Your Health

If your doctor signs a statement indicating that your life is in jeopardy if you don’t start focusing on your health, you may be able to deduct the cost of any remedy that will help you lower your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, improve your heart rate, or shed those pounds. You may also be able to deduct the cost of your smoking cessation programs, nicotine patches, and various aides for quitting smoking.

Body Oil

 In 2005, a bodybuilder filed a suit against the IRS after the agency denied his tax deductions for supplements, bison meat, and oils and tanning products. The Tax Court declared the meat and supplements as personal expenses since they could be consumed by anyone. The oils and tanning products, however, could indeed be filed as business expenses as they were not usually for sale in the typical marketing outlets and were marketed only in bodybuilding magazines.

Breast Implants

Expenses related to cosmetic surgery are generally deemed non-deductible, except in specific circumstances. Over a decade ago, a stripper had breast augmentation surgery and wrote off the bill that left her with a size 56FF chest. The stripper claimed that the procedure was considered as a business expense as it would advance her career. The Tax Court judge ruled in favor of the stripper, reasoning that the implants were a stage prop.


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