Strange Tax Deductions for 2008

Strange Tax Deductions for 2008

by Katherine Butler, March 2009

Benjamin Franklin said "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." But the only thing that seems to be certain about taxes is that you could go crazy trying to figure them out. So now is a great time for a laugh at the expense of your taxes. Here are a few weird tax deductions to get you giggling.

Ready to hit the surf and sand? All you have to do is schedule a business convention in Bermuda. You can deduct a trip to Bermuda as a business expense without having to show a reason the meeting had to be held in that beautiful, scenic location. Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago also qualify. As do Canada, Mexico, and all countries annexed by the United States.

We all love jury duty, right? If your employer pays you while you're on jury duty, you can pay the company back your meager jury duty earnings and claim it as a tax deduction. No doubt your boss will be thrilled when you hand over your hard-earned $15 for a week's worth of jury deliberation.

Moving? Since you don't want to leave Fido in the dust, you can deduct the cost of moving him.

Going nowhere but still own a pet? If your pet works, you can deduct the cost of his or her upkeep. And no, I'm not referring to catching an occasional mouse or scaring off the mailman. One industrious couple who owns a junkyard set out cat food to attract feral cats. Wild cats came in, ate up snakes and rats, and made the junkyard safer for patrons. The cats "worked." Tax write-off!

Do you work from home? If so, do you landscape? Then this is the perfect tax deduction for you: If you meet with clients at your home on a regular basis, you can deduct a portion of your landscaping as a business expense. After all, nothing says "don't hire me" like ill-pruned shrubs. Flowers have never been so frugal!

And here are a few more write-offs you may not have realized:

Want a night out without the little ones? Babysitting fees are deductible IF the parents are using the time to volunteer for a charity cause.

In another deduction that we can all get in bed with, sex therapy can be a write off. But only if it is a doctor-prescribed medical expense.

Dry skin? Body oil can be deducted if you are a professional body builder.

Need a new nose? A nose job is a write-off, but only if you are a singer and your septum is re-arranging your vocal capacity.

As you can see, most of these deductions only apply to those in very specific circumstances. But who knows? Be sure to check with your tax professional to see if you're eligible for any unique deductions.

Want more bizarre tax deductions? Check out these related articles:

Top Ten Strangest Tax Write-Offs

Strange-But-True Tax Deductions