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2013's Strange and Unusual Tax Deductions

Unusual tax deductionsLast month, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants issued the results of its annual CPA member survey about the most strange and unusual tax deductions proposed by clients. Responses included everything from pets and wedding rings to gifts not given.

So today, we are sharing with you some of these crazy/strange deductions that the people of Minnesota are asking their CPA's about.

Fur Coat
Worn to promote a cleaning business: As one tax filer learned, you'll never outfox the IRS. And, we can't help but wonder, what would the fox say?

Wedding Ring
A diamond is forever, and so is a taxpayer's inability to deduct the cost of a wedding ring.

101 Dog Deductions
Expenses for dogs, dogs as guard dogs, a small dog as a "burglar alarm," dog adoption costs, and even a dog as a dependent. CPAs heard it all this year. That's 101 "uh-uhs" from CPAs and the IRS.

An ATV
As a medical deduction for stress relief: No doubt, it's fun to go out and let 'er rip on the trails. But, the CPA and the IRS weren't buying the ATV as a medical deduction in this case.

Personal Auto
Placing a business sign on a personal automobile and writing off the car as an advertising expense.

Family Vacation
Ahh, the crystal-clear emerald water, the exquisite sand beaches, the cool ocean breeze. We hope the family enjoyed the vacation more than the tax filer enjoyed hearing the news that it wasn't deductible.

Land Contribution
A $1 million dollar deduction for a contribution of land without an appraisal: Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but this generous donor learned the hard way that property value is not.

Infant Employee
Sure, you can bring your children into the family business and count them as employees. But, as one business owner discovered, children who can't yet walk or talk rarely qualify. Plus, they want everything handed to them.

Gift not Given?
A large charitable deduction for a gift not given: One taxpayer thought that everyone could deduct a certain percentage of their income as a charitable deduction. Good news: They can! Bad news: They need to actually make the donation.

School Lunches
As a business expense? As one business owner learned, unless her child is closing business deals with other first-graders at the school, these lunches aren't deductible.

Home Theater
As "video conferencing equipment"? As soon as a CPA got her hands on this taxpayer's return, that proposed deduction was "Gone with the Wind."

BOTOX and Tanning
One poor filer couldn't even furrow her brow upon learning that these expenses weren't deductible.

Remember taxes are complicated. Everyone's situation is unique and depends on all of the facts and circumstances involved. If you have questions about what you can and can't deduct, please call us for information on what may be allowable for your specific situation.

Tax Freedom Day 2014 - Houston Small Business CPA
Staring at the Sun

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