Every year at this time, accountants see scores of tax deductions proposed by employers hoping to maximize their returns. Some of these deductions are reasonable, some are questionable and some are downright insane.
To determine the latter, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNSCPA) recently conducted its annual survey on the most unusual tax deduction proposals its members ever received.
From infant to canines
Here are five of our personal favorites:
1. The ol’ grade school lunch deduction. Your primary school-age child’s school lunches aren’t deductible — unless he or she is brokering deals with classmates during those lunches.
2. Botox and tanning expenses. Business owners may feel they need to look young and healthy in today’s market, but the IRS still doesn’t allow these vanity expenses to be deducted.
3. The gift not given. According to the MNSCPA on taxpayer thought everyone was entitled to deduct a percentage of their income as a charitable deduction — and did so. Problem was, this taxpayer didn’t make any charitable donations.
4. The little one deduction. Sure, babies are cute but as one business owner found out, you can’t deduct your infant — even if that baby will one day go on to run the family business.
5. The man’s best friend write-off. The survey found no shortage of canine-related expense business owners attempted to deduct, such as:
- dogs as “guard dogs”
- a small dog as a “burglar alarm”
- canine-adoption costs, and
- a dog as a dependent.