10 Tax Deductions You Probably Never Heard Of

It is always a good idea to start preparing for tax day at the beginning of the year. You should have most of your W2s from employers, bank statements, and other documents needed to complete your 2014 return. Now it is just a matter of putting everything together and getting your return filed. Toward that end, you need to take advantage of every allowable tax deduction to put you in the best financial position possible. Cut Your Taxes

There are some little known tax deductions that could apply to your situation. Here are 10 of them:

Pet Relocation: Most taxpayers realize that they are able to deduct for moving expenses under certain conditions (such as job relocation). One thing you may not be aware of is that expenses to relocate your pet can be included in this deduction because your pet is considered part of your household effects.

Clarinet Lessons: Thank the orthodontists for this one. In 1962, they successfully argued that playing the clarinet can help improve a child’s overbite. Thus, clarinet lessons can be written off as a medical expense.

Swimming Pools: If you have a bad back, sciatica, or another medical condition that is helped by being in water, you may be able to deduct the cost to install and maintain a swimming pool.

Quitting Smoking: The government has been encouraging us to quit smoking for years. Now they are putting their money where their mouth is. Taxpayers that enroll in a smoking cessation program or use a smoking patch or other aide may be able to deduct this expense.

Childcare while Performing Charitable Work: If you do volunteer charitable work, you may need to hire a babysitter or place your child in day care. Many taxpayers do not realize that you may be able to write off childcare expenses while you are serving others.

Business-related Pet Food: If you use a guard dog or other animal to protect your business premises, the cost of pet food may be deductible as a business expense.

Landscaping Outside the Home Office: If you have a home office wherein you regularly see clients, you may be able to deduct part of the cost of landscaping on your property. The percentage of the deduction is based on the percentage of the home that is used for business.

Business-related Cosmetic Surgery: In 1988, a stripper was allowed by tax court to claim a deduction for a breast implant. Since then, several in the adult entertainment industry have used this precedent to deduct the costs of “business-enhancing” cosmetic surgery.

Private Airplane: If you happen to own your own private airplane, you may be able to write off the cost of fuel and depreciation while using the airplane for business-related purposes.

Criminal Defense: When criminals are apprehended and tried for their alleged crimes, they may be able to write off legal expenses incurred to defend themselves.

These and similar deductions might be considered “aggressive” by the IRS and could invite greater scrutiny. As always, check with your professional small business accountant to make sure you meet the qualifications to take advantage of one (or more) these little known write offs.

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