It’s that terrible time of the year when you have to empty your pockets for Uncle Sam. If you’re lucky, you may be looking at a nice refund, but unfortunately, most Americans end up owing more of their hard-earned money.
It may seem grim, but with a little knowledge and ingenuity, you can write off a lot more than you think on your taxes. Here are some of the most absurd but successful write-offs people have used.
If swimming can help with a medical condition, you can write off the cost of construction and upkeep of your backyard beaut. One man that suffered from emphysema was able to deduct building the pool, heating it, chemicals and the insurance costs all because he said it helped him breathe easier. He was able to prove that he swam in the pool more than his family, and therefore got a government-subsidized pool.
Who doesn’t love their body builders all shiny and glistening? That’s the argument one professional body builder made when he deducted the cost of his body oil as a business expense. They drew the line at his expensive nutritional supplements and shipments of buffalo meat.
Paying the babysitter
You’re able to deduct that $20 you give to Suzy next door if you can prove that you used your time out of the house for volunteer work. Escaping the kids to chow down on a porterhouse and guzzle a bottle of cabernet, unfortunately does not count.
Though whaling is banned in the U.S. (except for native peoples), if you own or operate a whaling ship, you can deduct up to $10,000 every year for whaling-related expenses. This includes ship repairs, equipment purchases and anything else you could dream of that might finally help you catch the white whale.
If your child has an overbite, instead of braces you might want to opt for the clarinet. Clarinets are thought to help overbites in children and therefore can be deducted as a medical expense. Luckily for your neighbors, the lessons are deductible too.
If you work in the sex industry, or exotic dancing, you may be able to deduct the cost of your new yabbos. One stripper, nicknamed “Chesty Love,” was able to use this because the courts ruled that her new twins were considered a “stage prop.”
Be kind to stray cats and you may see a paycheck at the end of the hissing rainbow. If you provide food or medical attention to feral felines, it can be deducted from your taxes. One woman spent over $12,000 one year in feeding and neutering strays around her home and was able to get those costs refunded. There has been another case of junkyard owners feeding stray cats on their property. They were able to deduct the cost of food because the cats kept vermin out and made their business safer for customer.