This article was last edited on Nov. 9, 2016. For updated information on overlooked deductions, visit this post.
The old saying goes, “It doesn’t hurt to ask. They can only tell you yes or no”. Many people have taken this at face value when claiming tax deductions. Unusual tax deductions are more common than you think. If you feel you have a legitimate but strange deduction, keep in mind that the unusual often comes at a price of defending the deduction in court.
Here are a few of the more interesting deductions that have been claimed over the years. Not to mention, whether or not it passed or failed with the IRS.
- Pet On the Move: You probably know that moving expenses are deductible, however, you may not know that moving your pet may also qualify. Relocating with a commute to work of at least 50 miles from your former residence makes it legit. Passed.
- Babysitter Needed While Volunteering: Volunteering or performing charity work is honorable. Claiming the cost of a babysitter while doing that work may not be. You can’t deduct the cost of paying a babysitter as a charitable contribution. Failed.
- Kicking the Habit: If you are a smoker and trying to quit, great! You can deduct expenses related to cessation programs and prescription medication. Passed.
- Breast Milk Is the Best Milk: This is also true when claiming deductions. Nursing mothers that utilize breast pumps and related supplies to aid lactation can deduct them as a medical expense. Passed.
- Whaling Activities: Aye Matey! Certain whaling expenses can be deducted if you are a certified whaling captain. Certification must be deemed via the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. Captains involved in whaling activities must be sanctioned to be eligible for deduction. Passed.
If any of these piqued your interest and you feel you have a legitimate deduction, check with a tax professional. He or she can provide guidance as to whether your deduction gets a pass or fail. Learn more about various deductions via the TaxSlayer Knowledge Base.