AltAmusing Deductionshough client accounting and tax work, plus a growing volume of HOA audits, consume our time every day of the year (thank you!), the onset of summer usually gives us an extra moment or two to relax, take a deep breath, and even have a little fun.

Who said that taxes can’t be fun!

It’s just too hot to write a serious blog post this month, so we thought we would lighten things up a bit and highlight some humorous deduction-related tax questions. We’ve actually been asked a few of these are questions over the years – I won’t tell you which ones – but we also scoured the internet to find the funniest and strangest questions for our list. Some of the answers to these questions may surprise you!

Here is our Top 10 list of most amusing tax deduction questions:

  1. Can I deduct the new tree in my yard? No, unless you live in Hawaii and just planted a Norfolk Pine. Then you’re eligible for up to a $3,000 deduction.
  2. Do I have to pay taxes since I’m so old? Yes, unless you’re over 100 and live in New Mexico, then you’re exempt from state incomes taxes.
  3. Does my daughter’s wedding qualify as a business expense? Sorry, but inviting a few clients won’t make this a business tax deduction.
  4. My doctor said I need to exercise. Can I deduct the cost of a new swimming pool as a medical expense? Supposedly, this is a true story and the answer was yes, including pool maintenance. Time to get a physical!
  5. Can I claim my dog as a dependent? Not possible. Even though you may treat your dog like a child and dress him or her up with those cute outfits, family pets aren’t tax deductible.
  6. Aren’t tattoos deductible as a medical expense? Neither are piercings or other body “decorations.”
  7. Can I write off the money that I loaned to my deadbeat son as bad debt? Money owed by children isn’t tax deductible, unless you signed a loan agreement and took legal action to collect. Hmmm…
  8. I gave a bunch of money to Bernie Sanders, but he lost. Is that tax deductible? No, but neither is the money you gave to the next president.
  9. I hired an arsonist to burn down my business. Can I deduct the expense? Not sure if this is real or CPA folklore, but the answer is NO! Now, if you donate your property to the fire department to burn it down for practice, you may be eligible for a deduction.
  10. If I hit a deer, can I deduct that from my taxes? You can’t take a tax deduction for hitting a deer, but if you live in South Carolina, you’re allowed a $50 deduction for donating that deer to charity.

We would like to thank the US Tax Court, efile.com, Intuit, The Fiscal Times, WiseBread, and a number of other internet sources of ideas that led to this Top 10 list.

Our team here at Bach, James, Mansour & Company wishes you a happy and safe summer season. Remember, unlike those strip mall firms, we’re always around if you’d like to schedule a proactive planning meeting or get more details about that swimming pool deduction.

Neal Bach, CPA