The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants recently surveyed its CPA members in public accounting on the most outrageous tax deductions clients tried to take on their tax returns. The resulting list shows that, more often than not, clients just don’t know which deductions are allowed.
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).
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.
Gambling Losses – Unfortunately for one client, gambling losses didn’t qualify as a charitable donation to casinos or the Minnesota State Lottery.
Foot Powder for Smelly Feet – Not stinking up the office doesn’t qualify as a tax write-off.
‘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.
Valleyfair Season Tickets – Unfortunately, amusement parks don’t qualify for a day care deduction.
Cat Food and Litter – Your cats may be used to keep mice out of the barn, but their bare necessities aren’t deductible. In general, pet expenses aren’t deductible.
A Wedding to Remember – A client wanted to deduct part of his wedding costs because more than half the guests were business-related contacts.
Keeping Yourself Rejuvenated – Botox, tanning, nails and the like do not qualify as acceptable deductions.
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.