Hey, is that a real tax deduction?

Hey, is that a real tax deduction?

Most of us have or are going to finish up our taxes in the next few days. And lets not forget all the talk about taxes going on with our presidential hopefuls. I thought for this Funny Friday I would get in the act as well and list some actual tax deductions people have tried to claim. I wouldn’t recommend using these without the help of a professional!

** One tax customer reported, “Several years ago, I was going to owe some tax, so I put an extra deduction on my tax return. I put my dog on as a dependent.” The customer had deducted his dog Red all these years, allowing him to escape owing the IRS on those particular returns. But, unfortunately for this customer and all other pet owners, claiming a dog or cat or any other furry family member is definitely disallowed by the tax laws.

** A Pittsburgh furniture-store owner who, after years of trying unsuccessfully to sell his business, hired an arsonist to torch the place. The insurance company paid off to the tune of $500,000, which the owner dutifully reported on his income tax return. However, along with taking the proper deductions for the building, its contents and the usual business expenses, he also deducted a $10,000 “consulting fee” he had paid the arsonist. An IRS audit two years later landed them both in jail. The IRS disallowed the “consulting fee” and slapped on $6,500 in additional taxes, penalties and interest.

** A call from an ostrich farmer to a tax hotline asked how to go about depreciating an ostrich. Strange as it sounds, you can depreciate an ostrich or any other livestock, as long as it’s used for breeding.

** One person wanted to know if he could deduct the cost of his dog food. His reasoning was that his dog was security for his house; therefore the dog food became a security expense.

** An older gentleman had accidentally lost his dentures when they fell in the toilet and had claimed them on his taxes as an act-of-God casualty loss.

** There is one individual who tried to deduct a day care expense for their dog. The person was working and they didn’t feel that the dog should be left alone, so they hired somebody to watch the dog, then tried to take a day care tax credit for the doggy-sitting. The dog clearly was an economic dependent, but not for tax purposes.

** A landscaper who was under audit with the IRS had deducted the expense of their dog because he would pull the wagon on landscaping jobs. They felt he was out there helping. He may have been listed as an independent contractor.

** An Amish Amish guy tried to take a deduction for his buggy with velvet interior, the whole works. It was tricked out. He was legitimately Amish, but with all the accouterments on this buggy. How pimped out was his ride? According to the receipt, this baby came equipped with dash lights, kick plates, tinted windshield, speedometer, hydraulic brakes and dimmer switches. The standard buggy costs $2,675; this pimped-out version ran $3,540.

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