Current Weather
The Spy FM

No, You Can’t Deduct That

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
April 9, 2012

For our NYT Magazine column this weekend, we talked to 20 accountants, tax lawyers and policy wonks. Among other things, we asked them to list some ridiculous deductions their clients have tried to take.

Here are a few of our favorite answers, broken into two groups: relatively common, somewhat ridiculous; and less common, more ridiculous. Nothing on the list is tax deductible.

Relatively Common, Somewhat Ridiculous

Gym memberships and country-club dues

“You cannot deduct dues (including initiation fees) for membership in any club organized for: business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose.”

Cosmetic surgery

i.e. “any procedure that is directed at improving the patient’s appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease.”

Haircuts

From a 2008 tax court ruling: “Grooming remains an inherently personal expense and is not deductible, regardless of whether an employer requires a particularly neat appearance.”

Less Common, More Ridiculous

Thong underwear

The buyer was an actress; she needed to avoid visible underwear lines on TV.

A wedding

Clients were invited! Other failed deductions based on the same rationale: a trip to the desert to ride four-wheelers, and a ski trip to Switzerland.

Vet bills

Bonus: The pets were listed as dependents. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center