Strange But Legitimate Tax Deductions

Tax season is in full swing and people are trying to deduct all that they can. The United States tax code allows for many unusual but legitimate tax deductions, tax credits, and exemptions. For example, hot tubs and swimming pools are not just for the rich and famous. If you have a medical condition that a good soak or swimming regimen could help—you could write off the expense of a new pool… as long as you’ve got a doctor’s note. Here is a sampling of some of the more noteworthy unusual tax breaks that have been successfully claimed. Some of these might even apply to you.

– The state of South Carolina gives you a $50 tax credit for every butchered deer you donate to charity.

– Bodybuilders spending money on body oil to grease up for competitions are allowed to deduct the expense from their taxable income.

– A man who felt he was a woman trapped in a male body was diagnosed with gender-identity disorder. In the U.S. Tax Court’s view, the costs of the hormone therapy and the sex-change operation – a total of $14,500 – qualified as deductible medical expenses because those procedures helped treat a disease.

– A swimming pool can be deductible if it’s necessary for medical care. Get a doctor to recommend swimming for health reasons and you may be able to deduct the installation, chemicals, heating costs and the insurance as legitimate medical expenses.

– Does you child have an overbite? If so, you might want to enroll them in clarinet lessons. Both the clarinet and music lessons are tax deductible thanks to a 1962 provision added after orthodontists argued that playing the clarinet helps with a child’s overbite and may qualify as a medical expense.

– A gas station owner offered free beer as part of a promotion to entice customers. The Tax Court allowed the write-off as a legitimate business expense.

– One woman managed to get a prescription for three bottles of Evian water a day, allowing her to deduct $1,095 of bottled water from her taxes.

Deductions That Were Denied:

– One woman tried to deduct her gambling losses as a charity donation.

– The owner of a failing furniture store paid an arsonist $10,000 to burn down his store, then tried to write it off on his tax return as a “consulting fee.”