The tax season can be a skittish time, especially when trying to figure out what you can or can’t write off. We all want to keep our taxes at a minimum and with the tax season here, knowing even the most peculiar deductions can lower it significantly. Here is an interesting list of a few strange and bizarre items you can
1. Whale hunting: I know what you are thinking and yes it is illegal, except for all those in the Native American culture of course. In 2004, Internal Revenue code 170 states that Whaling Captains can write off up to $10,000 which includes food, weapons, repairs for the ship and distribution of whale meat. The American Jobs Creation Act added this policy change as a means to promote jobs and charity.
2. Music Lessons: Since 1962, the clarinet and music lessons can be used as a tax deduction for medical purposes because Orthodontists said that it helps prevent children from having overbites. This is an exciting and relatively ancient tax code for parents with kids who play the woodwind instrument as they can range from $200-$600.
3. Defense Attorney and Fraud Restitution: This one is great for some of you criminals out there. Even though you must pay taxes on the stolen goods, you can deduct 40% of your defense attorney fees bringing the $10,000 you owe down to $6,000. Even with fraud restitution you get a tax break! You can deduct the restitution while you pay back the victims.
4. Breast Enlargement: In 1988, a stripper named Cynthia Hess (aka. Chesty Love) stated that her $2,088 breast implants, size 56FF, were a business expense. They go along in the same category as work clothes and uniforms, making them a vital necessity in the work force.
5. Parents of a Kidnapped Child: If your child is kidnapped, now you can still claim them as a tax-deductible as long as the kidnapper isn’t a relative and has been declared kidnapped by the authorities till they are 18 years old or deceased. Previously the law stated that you could claim them till the year they were kidnapped.
6. Medical expenses: Some people aren’t aware you can write off multiple facets of medical costs including abortions, rehabs for alcoholism and drug addiction, gas and travel expenses to and from AA or NA meetings, wigs from hair loss due to a disease, quitting smoking programs including patches or nicotine gum, artificial limbs and teeth, ambulance trips as well as Braille books and magazines.
7. Caribbean Cruises: My personal favorite… You can write off your trip to the Caribbean as well as a few more destinations as long as it is business related such as a meeting or conference, which is why many business folk plan their meetings in these exotic locations. Transportation, food and hotel count as business travel expenses. Islands that the Internal Revenue Service count as a tax-deductible include Hawaii, Trinidad, Jamaica, Bermuda, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Dominica, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Porto Rico, Mexico and Tobago.
8. African Savanna: If you are a dairy farmer, then you are in luck! If you take a vacation, I mean an ‘ordinary or necessary’ business trip to Africa, then you are allowed to write it off because you are learning about animals that are relevant to your business.
9. ‘Exceptional’ Trees: If you live in the Aloha State and have an Araucaria Heterophylla or more commonly known as a Norfolk Pine in your backyard, which grows only in the Hawaii, you can write off $3,000 as a deduction to protect and preserve this special species.
10. Body Oil: This cost can be deducted if you are a body builder to make those beefy biceps shine and radiate in the limelight.