Now that tax season is underway, we thought it’d be a great time to look at some of the weirdest tax deductions on record. Who knows? Maybe you’ll qualify for one of these!
An ostrich farmer from Louisiana was able to depreciate the total value of his aging ostrich. While this deduction was made famous by the Louisiana ostrich, you can actually claim depreciation on all livestock, including sheep, cattle, mink and other fur-bearing animals. The same deduction also applies to some aging machinery, greenhouses and other tangible personal property that’s getting long in the tooth.
It Pays to Get Healthy
Has your doctor told you to hit the gym lately? If your health needs an upgrade, you may be able to deduct the costs from workout programs, gym memberships or just about any other fitness-improving remedy. In most cases, all you need is a doctor’s signature saying that this activity is necessary for improving your physical condition. Maybe that gym membership isn’t too costly after all.
Tax Deductions Going to the Dogs
If you’re a business owner, and you’re using a dog to guard your property (it probably needs to be bigger than a Pomeranian), you may be able to deduct some of those costs. According to our friends at entrepreneur.com, you’ll need to make sure that the dog is actually guarding inventory, and you’ll only be able to deduct expenses accrued when the dog’s on duty. However, much like the ostriches, the value of guard dogs can depreciate as they get older, but you’ll need to have the estimated value determined by a local breeder.
The Next Round’s on the IRS
If you think that alcohol and taxes don’t mix, you obviously didn’t hear about Edward Sullivan, the gas station owner. As a promotional expense, Sullivan gave away beer to his customers, which cost him over $650. Sullivan thought his patrons would rather have a free beverage than trading stamps. He might have been onto something.
It Takes Guts (to Get this Tax Deduction)
While it’s illegal to sell your body parts in the United States, you’re more than welcome to donate some of them. There are 17 states that offer special tax breaks to people who give away their liver, pancreas, bone marrow or intestines. But while the medical and travel expenses acquired around the donation are deductible up to $10,000, actually donating organs only awards, on average, a $650 tax deduction. There are a handful states that have exceptions, awarding up to a $10,000 tax credit for organ donation. So if you’re making this kind of charitable donation, you may want to relocate.
Kick the Habit, Get the Deduction
This could be the year that you kick your smoking habit to the curb. If so, you may be able to deduct the costs of certain smoking cessation drugs. However, in order to get this medical expense tax deduction, the smoking cessation drugs must require a subscription from your doctor (Nicorette gum doesn’t fall into that category). That being said, there’s a good chance that you can deduct the cost of smoking cessation programs.
In some cases, business cruises are tax deductible. But before you pack up your employees and head for the Caribbean, you should do your due diligence and make sure your trip qualifies. Getting this deduction requires you to jump through a few hoops, such as showing that the meetings aboard the boat directly benefit your business. Not only that, but each of the ports of call must be in the U.S., and the ship needs to be registered in the U.S. See the full list of rules for this tax deduction. Before you take a business cruise just for the tax perks, make sure you sit down with a CPA and talk through the plan.
These are just a handful of weird tax deductions. Have any stories of your own? Share them here!
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