Odd (But Legit) Tax Deductions That Uncle Sam Even Scratches His Head About

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It’s tax season — which is generally considered the least exciting day of the year. Sorry, April 15. Let’s be honest, you know very little about tax deductions or the list of tax write offs that can save you money. So, unless you’re a CPA, there’s nothing really exciting about Tax Season. Yet, every February, we’re reminded that there are only two certainties in life — death & taxes. Now, before you break out all the miscellaneous receipts and start jotting down donut purchases to add to your tax deductions list, take a look at the seven obscure tax breaks that actually didn’t get kicked back, which can help ease the pain of all that money you spent in the past year.


Guard Animals

Yep, go ahead and add man’s best friend to your list of tax write offs. That’s right, if you have a guard dog or other animal to protect your property, you may be able to deduct some of the costs of caring for them. Primarily food, which, for anyone who has a big dog knows, can really add up! A tax court even allowed cat food to be deducted for any cats deemed necessary to protect a junkyard from snakes and rats.


If you run a business out of your home where you meet with clients regularly, you might want to bring it up to your accountant. Turns out that, for any sole proprietor who meets regularly with clients at a home office, they can use a write off — and landscaping and lawn care count as a valid tax deduction. Granted, the IRS would ask that you show why the landscaping is relevant, but those could range form dealing with upper-income clients to actually owning a landscape company. Now, if only we could figure out how to add manscaping to the list of tax write offs, we’d be golden!

Pet Moving Expenses

Keeping in the same vein, if we accept a position that requires relocation, did you know that you can write off any expenses for your pet? That could be a nice little tax deduction, as checked animals on a plane could cost upwards of $250. Listen, hopefully no one is dumping their little buddy because they got a job across the country, so this one could actually be used at some point.


Breast Implants

  1. Thank you, Lord
  2. This may not really have a big impact on us at FHM

Still, while cosmetic procedures are not normally deductible, an exotic dancer once successfully argued that her breast implants were a necessary part of her business, and that, without them, she would lose income. Yep. All we have to say to that one is U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Addiction Treatment

Taking care of your health is always important. Most people don’t know that certain types of addiction treatments are considered tax deductions under medical and dental expenses. For instance, take smokers who are trying to quit, they could get tax deductions for smoking cessation programs — but, unfortunately, not nicotine gum or patches. Weight loss expenses that are related to specifically diagnosed diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure can be as well. Even inpatient treatment for alcohol and drug addiction can be deducted beyond the threshold value of 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Clarinet Lessons

What? No, we can’t just pick up the clarinet and start writing everything off as a tax deduction. But, if picking up the jazz flute is part of an orthodontist’s regimen to help deal with an overbite, well, we just might be looking at the next Ron Burgundy. The way the clarinet specifically is positioned in the mouth decreases the pain of an overbite, and both the cost of the instrument and lessons can be put on your list of tax write offs.

We know that tax season is a dreadful time for all of us. On one hand, you could really use the money back from the government, but, on the other, who saves receipts? And who has time to look through all the garbage to find the solid tax deductions, right? What these unusual list of tax write offs tell us is that, if you have good justification, take your shot. Hypothetically, if you own a coffee shop and tasting donuts is integral to your business, you enjoy those delicious pastries slowly and know that, yep, they’re all written off!

Lead image via Getty.

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