There’s an old adage that it never hurts to ask for something you want no matter how crazy the idea might sound. Judging by Tax Court rulings, the U.S. government takes that bit of wisdom to heart.
Considering the hard-hearted reputation of the IRS, some of the tax deductions approved over the years are stunning. But maybe that’s because we would have never thought to ask in the first place.
So let that be a warning for the timid. Of course for every strange tax break that won approval there are many that ended with a denial. As they said on “Hill Street Blues”: Be careful out there.
Still, these already-approved deductions might give some ideas on how to cut the amount you owe Uncle Sam.
We have the details of 8 Odd Deductions That Actually Worked, courtesy of efile.com and other websites.
1. Bulking Up
When bodybuilder Corey Wheir sat down to do his taxes, he decided to deduct certain expenses. There was the buffalo meat he ate and the vitamins he took to get that buffed look. And don’t forget the body oil he slathered on before each competition. After due consideration, the Tax Court ruled the body oil was a deductible business expense but not the other items.
2. Pet Project
Junkyards attract all sorts of unwanted pests. There are snakes, rats and other vermin. Getting rid of them is costly, but not taking care of the problem can keep skittish customers away. Samuel Seawright went natural with his solution, allowing wild cats to roam the property. To attract the felines, he put out food. The court ruled the kitty meals were a business expense and therefore deductible.
3. Kicking the Habit
If you have been stymied in your attempts to stop smoking, a tax deduction might be the extra incentive you need. The IRS allows deductions for qualified smoking cessation programs as well as aids that are available with a prescription.