10 Tax Deductions that Border on Ridiculous


We all need a little humor during these dog days of the tax season.

Each year, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants releases a list of the most outrageous tax deductions clients have tried to claim, courtesy of their CPA members.

So we thought we’d take a moment to share these gems with you.

1. Here’s my Home Office… Got your Bathing Suit?

Float around and enjoy yourself in your pool, but don’t expect the IRS to give you a break on it. One client watched his dreams of deducting pool repairs and maintenance go down the drain.

2. Healthcare Across the Border

One client tried to deduct several trips to Mexico for dental work from his taxes. “No” is the same word in both languages, and that’s what his CPA told him.

3. Lunch with Me, Myself and I

Another client wanted to claim mileage for 25 trips to a restaurant – for lunch alone. No, this doesn’t qualify as a working lunch, even if you talk to yourself between bites.

4. $2 Loss on a Sports Bet

Yes, some losses are deductible. Superbowl gambling is not one of those, as this creative taxpayer found out. Extra points for tracking every dollar though!

5. Helping Uncle Joe Out

It’s a nice thing to do to help out relatives in need. Let’s hope Uncle Joe didn’t get left out in the cold after this taxpayer discovered these “donations” aren’t tax deductible.

6. Clients on the Water

Want to go boating? Looking to combine business with pleasure? That’s fine. But trying to write off expenses for taking your clients boating is not going to float with the IRS. The hopes of this taxpayer sank quickly.

7. I’m Going to Disney

If you take the family to Disney, do it for the fun and the warm memories. It won’t count as a tax deduction… even if you do “work the whole time.” Put down the laptop and pick up some mouse ears!

8. Elective Plastic Surgery

Just like going to Disney, getting plastic surgery is something you do for you… not to get a tax deduction. One client wanted to deduct a tummy tuck as a medical expense. The IRS couldn’t stomach that one!

9. Fur Coat Expenses

Hey, it gets cold in some areas of the country… really cold. We get it! But using your fur coat as a tax deduction because you need it to keep warm while working… are you “fur” real?

10. Build Me a Home

Go ahead and build your dream house! Just don’t expect the IRS to pay for it… or give you a deduction for it, as one taxpayer thought. The walls came tumbling down on this idea.

“Creativity is a beautiful trait to embrace,” said Jeff White, MNCPA Board Chair. “But there are better places to exercise yours than with your CPA and IRS.”

If you have questions about what does and doesn’t count as a tax deduction, SFS Tax & Accounting is here to help. Give us a call at (772) 337-1040 or make an appointment online now.

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