By  Updated on Fri Jan 27, 2012

7 Weird Tax Deductions You Should Look Into

It’s always hard to navigate the complicated world of taxes, especially when it comes to deductions. Many Americans avoid the headache and just head to a professional to get the job done. Regardless of how you get your taxes done, it’s still important to know the options out there.

Here is a list of some of the stranger cuts out there; it looks like with a little bit of imagination and creativity you can find a tax break for many things (unfortunately, not everything). Hopefully these will inspire you to dig into your past expenses and maybe find a way to rake in some extra cash or cut down the tax payments!

Do You Have A Babysitter?

Yes, you read right. Technically, you can get babysitting fees taken care of if you used a babysitter in order to free up time for charity. You can only apply for this deduction if you didn’t make any money while working or donating time to charity.

There are also child care deductions where you can get up to 35% of federal tax credit on the cost of daycare. In order to get this credit you’d have to fill out form 2441. To find out if your eligible you must first read through the instructions of form 2441.

Have Beer on The Government’s Tab

There have actually been some businesses successful at deducting beer as a business expense after giving it away free as a promotion. The most recent example comes from a gas station owner who doled out free beer to customers instead of trading stamps.

Take A Dip In Your Backyard for Free

A man stricken with breathing problems was told to start swimming by his doctor. Deciding it was easier to install a swimming pool in his back yard as opposed to going to the gym or a public pool, this man was able to improve his breathing by swimming in the pool daily. The Tax Court allowed this as a deduction under the category of medical expenses, he was able to deduct the amount the pool added to the property value.

Body Oil, Huh?

Once again, it looks like deducting things based on work is a totally legitimate way of reducing the tax burden. One professional body builder was able to deduct his body oil expenses for his competitions. The tax court viewed these costs as business expenses, but didn’t consider buffalo meat, and special vitamin supplements as tax deductible expenses.

The Grass Is Greener, When It’s Paid For

Running a business out of your home can be both convenient and expensive. Some business owners have been able to deduct landscaping costs if they regularly meet clients at their homes. You must calculate how much of your business is conducted from the home in order to figure out if you are eligible for this deduction.

Take a Trip to Bermuda

Employers who have chosen to have their business conventions in Bermuda, have enjoyed deductions as well as the nice weather. Also, Business visits conducted in the Caribbean region can be subject to tax write-offs. Business conventions and meetings held in countries including, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have been known to get this cost cut.

This is also applicable to Mexico, Canada and other U.S. territories, it is not, however applied to conventions in many European countries.

Pet Expenses

It’s true, pets make for great companions, but sometimes they provide even more. One couple that had wild junkyard cats, were able to deduct the cost of food used to attract them. The feral animals kept away snakes and rats making the property a more attractive work environment.

Pet owners who had to move their pets after relocating for a job were able to deduct moving expenses after passing a few tests. This is because the pet is treated as a personal effect, this is good news for pet owners who had to fly considering transporting a pet via air can cost hundreds of dollars.

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  • LMart97

    “Business conventions and meetings held in counties including, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have been known to get this cost cut.” Last I checked, these were countries, not counties! The title of the segment says “Take a Trip to Bermuda”, then mentions the Caribbean. Bermuda happens to be in the Atlantic, not the Caribbean. C’mon Marina, you can do better than that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=574730690 Devon Perry

    I say we should get to deduct our pets like kids.. I mean, they are our kids.. and they are our companions etc etc. 

    • TJJ300

      At the very least, we should be able to deduct their medical expenses, which can be considerable.

    • Ray_crites

      Kids are not pets.

      • Karlakatz

         Exactly!  My pet never came home at midnight and announced she was pregnant and moving to San Francisco with some guy name “Biddy-Bye-Boy”… and my pet never stole money from my wallet.

  • Jlkjo

    Devon, they are not your kids and that is a stupid thing to say.  Pet do not have souls, but kids do. 

    • Kgee

      Jlkjo, lighten up

    • idiotmitten

      I would like proof of that, please.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=599754653 Emily Fant

       I like my companion animals more than I like most people…you are the perfect example why

    • http://profiles.google.com/foxeni Wendy Fox

      You don’t know that. That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard. 

  • FactoryGuy

    Now, when the tax reforms come, will these IDIOTIC deductions go away?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=599754653 Emily Fant

    Now  if I could just claim my Pug and DSH as dependents….