Guiding consumers since 2009

Five crazy tax deductions

By Staff Writer

Tax can be confusing and daunting, but did you know it can also be funny? Well, funny if other people are trying to write off pet pigs as business expenses. We’ve put together some of the craziest tax deductions we’ve heard of.

A baby

In Arizona, a woman tried to deduct the cost of her child. Yes, her child.  The woman, who owns a curtain and blinds business, used photos of her baby in marketing material and tried to write off the money spent on food, clothing diapers, baby powder and even the nanny as a business expense!

While she wasn’t able to write off the $26 000 in total, she was allowed to write off the cost of the photographer who took the photos for the promotional material, the stroller and the clothes (which had her company’s logo on) the baby was wearing in the photos.

Carrier pigeons

One guy who doesn’t trust technology at all and who refused to use a telephone  or computer, had to come up with another way of keeping in touch with his business partner who lived across town in Phoenix. His solution? Carrier pigeons.

Mr. Technophobe thought it would be sensible to write off the pigeons, their care, food and their housing as a business expense.

After a range of questions by his CPA, it was established that he really was technophobe, who had never used or owned a computer before in his life, thus, it was fair game to write off the pigeons as an expense.

A tummy tuck

Breast enlargements have been written off as a work expense for a while now, but a waiter at Hooter’s took it to the next level when she argued that a tighter tummy will bring in better tips on the job.

In the past, people have successfully deducted breast enlargements, arguing that it would affect their income. However, there’s no precedent for tummy tucks and deducting the surgery as an expense would be near impossible, unless the tax payer had a motivated medical reason, recommended by a physician and a prescription.

Fake eyelashes

Exotic dancers need to look good to make money.  This, of course, means splashing cash on cosmetics, costumes and a whole lot of other stuff to help them keep up appearances.

A dancer in New York has been deducting everything from photos to make up, false eyelashes, tanning, teeth whitening and all sorts of other skin and hair care as a tax expense.

Said dancer was even audited once and the costs were allowed!

Pet Pig

No matter how much you love your pet, you can’t pass them off as dependant and deduct their expenses. That doesn’t mean some people haven’t tried before.

A client once tried to write off the cost of his pet pig! Costs which included food and medical bills to the amount of  $7,000 – that’s over R50 000.

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