Featured image from Ken Teegardin
Every tax season, many of us are faced with the daunting question of “what can I deduct?” We’re all used to the standard deductions like charitable donations, dependents and business expenses, and we’re all trying to get the most money back from the government as possible. If you think you might have a special circumstance that constitutes a weird deduction, well, lemme tell ya, so do a lot of people. Here are the seven weirdest, most intrepid tax deductions we’ve ever heard of.
1. Body Mods
If you can prove that your body modifications — in this instance, cosmetic surgery — are necessary to your income, you might be able to deduct them. According to Forbes, an exotic dancer was able to deduct the cost of her breast augmentation after disputing the IRS’ denial in Tax Court.
2. Cat Food
Do you use cats to keep rodents away from your inventory? Do you foster cats (or other animals) as part of an animal welfare organization? You might be able to deduct their food, either as a business expense or a charitable donation. Keep those receipts, folks.
3. Quitting Smoking
If you’re trying to kick that cigarette habit, Turbo Tax says you’re in luck. Because it can be considered health care, you might be able to deduct patches, medications or programs that you enroll in to help you quit smoking.
4. Swimming Pools
Swimming pools have long been considered “money pits,” costing folks thousands in installation and maintenance costs. If you have a medical condition that can be improved with a physician- or specialist-approved exercise regimen, however, efile.com says you may be able to deduct its costs. Just don’t use it recreationally, as the IRS will conduct an investigation to make sure it’s used for health purposes only. No pool parties if you’re using this deduction.
5. Dead Deer Donation
If you’re a South Carolina resident who runs a butcher shop and donates a deer carcass to help feed the poor in your state through a non-profit, you can get a $75 deduction. You have to donate the whole thing, since you can’t use any piece of it for “commercial purposes.”
6. Clown Costumes
Do you work a job with a uniform that you have to purchase and maintain? If it can’t be worn outside the workplace, like say, a clown costume, you may be able to deduct it. Don’t try this for regular clothes, as it only applies to attire that can’t be used for any other purpose than work.
7. Your Entire House
If you inherited an old property with a house on it that you hate, can’t afford to maintain or know you can never sell, you can donate it to a fire department for training purposes and deduct the loss. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, this Forbes article lays out the don’ts and stresses the necessity for paperwork and appraisal information to present to the IRS when they inevitably deny your deduction. The biggest thing to remember: you must donate the property and the house, not just the house and hope to rebuild on that property.