The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants recently surveyed its member on the most outrageous tax deductions clients tried to take on their tax returns. The resulting list shows that, more often than not, clients don’t know which deductions are allowed — and can get really creative trying.
#10 – Expensive Clothing
We all like to look nice, especially for business purposes. But you’re expected to arrive to work fully clothed (looking nice is a bonus).
# 9 – Baby Grand Piano
A client, who was a humanities professor, thought he could deduct a piano. Unless the professor was providing lessons as part of a small business, this was not an acceptable deduction.
# 8 – Misinterpretations of Charitable Donation
Unfortunately for one client, gambling losses didn’t qualify as a charitable donation to casinos or the Minnesota State Lottery.
# 7 – Foot Powder for Smelly Feet
Not stinking up the office doesn’t qualify as a tax write-off.
# 6 – ‘Business’ Boat
One client wanted to depreciate the cost of a large boat because it was used occasionally for client entertainment. You better set sail on that idea.
# 5 – Amusement Park Season Tickets
Unfortunately, theme parks don’t qualify for a day care deduction.
# 4 – Cat Food and Litter
Sorry, crazy cat ladies. Your kitties may be used to keep mice out of the barn, but their bare necessities aren’t deductible. In general, pet expenses aren’t deductible.
# 3 – A Wedding to Remember
A client wanted to deduct part of his wedding costs because more than half the guests were business-related contacts. Nice try.
# 2 – Keeping Yourself Rejuvenated
Botox, tanning, nails and the like do not qualify as acceptable deductions. But the spa…what about the spa?
# 1 – Commuting to Work
You can get mileage reimbursement either through your work (if offered) or the government for mileage incurred while on the clock and for business purposes, but driving to and from work is not going to stick. Not even in Southern California.
Who knew Minnesotans could be so creative? Californians, the competition is on!