People Have Gotten Away With Some Pretty Weird Tax Deductions

Including breast implants and cat food.

tax deductions
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

It’s tax season, which means it’s also time for people to do everything in their power to cut down their tax bill without raising too many eyebrows over at the IRS.

But some tax filers may have gotten more creative than others when it came time to claim deductions, according to USA Today. The outlet put together a list of some of the more outlandish claims people have gotten away with over the years.

From pet food to, uh, “stage props,” the IRS has approved some pretty wacky write-offs. If you haven’t filed yet, check out some of these expert system-cheats for inspiration.

Breast Implants 

Back in 1988, a dancer successfully wrote off $2,000 for her breast implants, or, “stage props.” The woman claimed the implants had significantly increased her income, more than quadrupling her $750 per-week earnings. The U.S. Tax Court ruled in her favor, arguing that the size-56N implants were for work rather than personal benefit.

Tanning Oil 

Between 1999 and 2001, a Wisconsin bodybuilder was granted a $14,000 deduction for three body oil products, including a tanning oil, that he argued were beneficial to his career. The ruling on this one came down to marketing, with the U.S. Tax Court granting the write-off on the basis that the products were primarily marketed in bodybuilding magazines, rather than to the general public.

Cat Food 

In 2001, scrapyard owners in South Carolina successfully wrote off $300 in cat food expenses, claiming the food attracted wild cats to the area to scare off snakes and rats. Seems like a stretch, but this one was approved, too.

The U.S. Tax Court may have been surprisingly lenient with these taxpayers, but they still have to draw the line somewhere, some of which USA Today also noted. Write-offs that didn’t make the cut included a man who tried to write off his own life and another taxpayer who claimed a deduction for a mink coat he bought his wife to wear to business functions. Hey, you never know unless you try.

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