Posted by : Daniel Stoica in (Blog, Tax Deductions) On: May 19th, 2011
Tagged Under : 1040, accountant, audit, Behold Bankrate, business, cash, charitable donation, CPA, deductions, dues, entertainment, expense, incentive, IRS, nondeductible expense, purchases, Self-employed, subscriptions, tax break, tax claims, tax obligations, taxes, taxpayers, travel, wedding deduction, write-off
The cop who tried to write off his flattop haircut. The interstate cheeseburger incident. These are just a couple of examples of some strange things people have tried to claim as deductions on their taxes.
According to Behold Bankrate, the following are some of this year’s strangest, but true, attempts at claims for tax deductions.
For several years, Behold Bankrate has published a list of some of the strangest tax deduction attempts desperate taxpayers thought they could slip past the IRS. Everything from breast implants to barking security systems have been added to some taxpayer’s 1040s in an effort to get as much of a tax break as possible.
This is meant to deter anyone considering trying to dupe the IRS by trying to claim their pet parrot as a speech therapy tool. The IRS doesn’t take attempts to get out of your tax obligations lightly.
With that said, here are just a few of Bankrate’s 10 strangest tax deductions of 2011. For a complete list, please visit http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/10-craziest-tax-deductions-for-2011-2.aspx.
The tale of the wedding deduction! This is, and always has been, a nondeductible expense, but it turns up every year in different forms. Many people try to use that $50,000 wedding as a business travel and entertainment expense. “I had a client who insisted on deducting the cost of his wedding,” said a Massachusetts CPA. “He could not understand why this was not deductible as a charitable donation, and I could not understand where he expected to take the deduction. Like he was nice enough to marry her?”
The “Tony Soprano” Incident! Tax preparation can sometimes involve not quite on the up-and-up “negotiations”, as a New Jersey CPAs tells. “The manager and family member of a famous entertainer suggested the purchase of a $2 million building for office and production space, certain it would be a $2 million write-off that year,” the CPA says. “When the manager found out that it would take over 30 years to recover the expense, the manager was angry, embarrassed and annoyed. At one point, a suitcase with a very large amount of cash was given as an incentive to his accountant to somehow ‘make it work.’ The money was refused and the outrageous claim never made it onto the tax return, at least not the one the accountant prepared!”
The Subscription Ploy! Sometimes a self-employed person will try to take as much of a deduction as they can with dues and subscriptions, as a Massachusetts CPA found out, completely by accident. “A self-employed real estate professional had thousands of dollars in dues and subscriptions. When we reviewed the details of the account, the client was trying to deduct some personal subscriptions to adult magazines. We convinced the client that this type of subscription was considered a nondeductible personal expense.”
So, before you try to deduct something you aren’t sure about, it’s probably a good idea to ask your tax professional before you add it to your tax return. It keeps the IRS from possibly auditing you, and it will keep you off this list.