(BLOOMINGTON, Minn.) — Elected officials are on the public payroll, but claiming a politician as a tax deduction on your 1040 because you pay their salary will not go over well with tax authorities. That’s just one example of actual tax deductions attempted by U.S. citizens.
The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants has just released its second annual list of strange tax deductions. The deductions were removed by a CPA after they advised the taxpayer that leaving them on a tax return would trigger a letter from the IRS.
Here is the MNCPA list of strange and unacceptable deductions for 2011:
— Questionable dependents: One woman wanted to include the months she was pregnant in 2011, even though she relinquished rights upon the child’s birth; another taxpayer wanted to claim his elected official because he “pays his salary.” Yet another taxpayer wanted to claim a former spouse.
— Disallowed charitable donations: the market value of whole blood that the taxpayer donated; a $100,000 deduction for burning down an old cabin; gambling losses; private school tuition; raffle tickets.
— “Fido” as a business expense. Pets proved popular with taxpayers wanting to deduct everything from pet food to vet bills.
— Inflated mileage calculations: A handyman proposed to take a $25,000 mileage deduction, even though he had only $10,000 in revenue. He justified it by saying he drove 50,000 business miles in one year.
— Creative medical expenses: a rental house in Arizona for the taxpayer’s health; an in-ground swimming pool without a doctor’s order; a spouse’s drug habit; breast implants and tummy tucks.
— An attorney’s fees for a divorce were considered an “investment” by the former spouse.
Unscrupulous business travel and entertainment deductions: a personal luxury car; three country club memberships; a motor home and the full cost of a wedding.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Menser, Bizmojo Idaho
Jill Disis, CNN
Alanna Petroff, CNN