Since it’s the beginning of tax season and people are scrambling over potential deductions, we thought it would be a good time to highlight some of the more interesting tax deductions. Who knows? Maybe you’ll qualify for one of these!
Bucks for Bucks
In South Carolina you get a whopping $50 off your taxes if you donate a dead deer for the purpose of feeding the needy. However, “No portion of the donated deer shall be used by a commercial enterprise,” so keep your jerky-selling aspirations under control.
Burn Down the House
If you can’t get that yellow wallpaper off the dining room wall, consider donating your house to the fire department for training purposes in exchange for a hefty tax deduction. Be careful with this one, though. You can’t just donate the house, get the deduction and then rebuild your home with granite countertops. As in the case of Rolfs and Gallagher v. Commissioner, you must donate the house as well as the land, causing your home-sweet-bonfire to be slightly less profitable.
The Musical Overbite
In 1962 orthodontists argued that playing the clarinet could actually help a child’s overbite, which led to both the clarinet and clarinet lessons being tax deductible for children with the orthodontic ailment. So this may be the perfect year to send brace-face Billy off to band camp.
Since 2004, whaling captains in the U.S. have been eligible to deduct up to $10,000 for ship maintenance and other whaling expenses (whatever that may include). However, due to the fact that whaling is forbidden by everyone except specific Native American cultures, you and your dingy may have to set your sights on a smaller catch of the day.
Pump Up the Wallet
According to at least one court ruling, it’s possible for professional bodybuilders to deduct the cost of body oils from their taxes. Bodybuilders apply the oil “prior to pumping up backstage for optimum effects,”making it essential for that award-winning pose. Unfortunately, deductions for special vitamin supplements and buffalo meat were not allowed by the court. No one said life would be fair.
Making Money off My Music, Man
It may be a long shot, but performing (starving) artists can potentially get a deduction while producing their art form. There are many hoops you’ll have to jump through for this one, including receiving $200 from two different employers respectively, using more than 10% of performing income on job-related expenses, and then making less than $16,000 a year. But if you can take the time to put the paintbrush down, this might be the perfect deduction for you.
Dress for the Job You Want (As Long As it’s a Clown)
You’d better think twice about writing off that Armani suit. When determining if your work clothes might be tax deductible, ask yourself if they can be worn outside the workplace. If so, they won’t be tax deductible. So the classic blouse or bowtie won’t make the cut, but you would probably get away with a clown suit or sequin-studded theatrical attire.