Top Five Crazy But Real Tax Deductions

If you have pets, chances are that you have wished you could claim them as dependents or deducted their vet bills.  As April 15 approaches, I’ve found myself wishing that I could charge the IRS for hours I spend toiling over a mound of paperwork that goes into my tax returns.  Maybe you can’t deduct those things, but here is my top five list of crazy but real tax deductions (Turbotax has verified that these are legit.)

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at
Image courtesy of ratch0013 at

5. Dogs.  It turns out there are some special circumstances where you actually can deduct pet expenses.  If you are relocating for a new job and deducting those moving expenses, you can include the expense associated with moving your pets.  Plus, if you are a business owner and have a dog that you use to protect your property, you may be able to deduct some of the dog’s expenses.  I’m not sure my Yorkie would count, but he should.  Don’t judge him by his size.

4. Fitness.  You go to the doctor and he tells you that you really should join a gym or get some more exercise.  Guess what?  With his note, you can deduct those costs as medical expenses.  I need to talk to my doctor about getting an addition on my house with a home gym and a new pair of running sneakers every month.  It’s for my health.
3. A swimming pool.  The cost of building and maintaining a swimming pool is tax deductible if you have a medical condition that can be alleviated by swimming.  You just need a doctor to agree that swimming is part of your medical treatment.  Now seriously, swimming is great, low-impact exercise.  The water is great for stress relief.  Why aren’t we all getting pools?  I’m going to find out about getting one as soon as I finish this post!
2. Clarinet lessons.  Apparently playing the clarinet can be corrective of overbites in children.  So, if you have a child with an overbite, get your dentist to prescribe clarinet lessons for them and take the tax deduction.  However, you might want to pick up a pair of earplugs for yourself.
1. Cosmetic surgery. In 1988 a judge agreed that a stripper should be allowed to deduct the cost of her breast enlargement surgery because it would allow her to make more money in her business venture.  I  wonder if that means I could deduct spa services or Botox?