Last week I prepared an account of how much money the government had taken from us in 2011 and how much more they would like us to voluntarily cough up. This is more commonly referred to as tax preparation. Before I become a nationally-read columnist—I have readers in Texas, North Carolina, and Maryland and I appreciate all three of them—I worked in the field of accounting. This background equipped me with approximately .00187% more knowledge than the average citizen regarding tax issues.
So, I did our own taxes. I utilized a tax preparation software program and walked through all the standard deductions allowed by the IRS, more commonly referred to by names that I cannot use in a family newspaper. I then did a search for “odd tax deductions” to see if there might be something I could deduct that wouldn’t land me in federal prison. Before I continue, I must disclose that I am not a tax professional, I only play one in this column. Please consult someone with actual credentials regarding your own tax situation.
The first deduction I came across was an allowance for professors to deduct expenses related to research. Although technically I’m not a professor, there is quite a bit of research conducted in our household. Last week, I researched the organisms growing on the dishes in The Nephew’s room. Surely, the cure for cancer is somewhere among the fuzzy green creatures fructifying on my Kaity Blossoms dinnerware warranting a tax deduction for research.
I also learned that you can deduct your gambling losses up to the extent of your winnings. Well gosh golly and thank goodness for teenage drivers, Chief Money Maker and I gamble every month. We pay our auto insurance then roll the dice yelling, “Come on seven!” hoping Sweet Pea and The Nephew make it through the month without bowling over pedestrians on the sidewalk. If that isn’t gambling, then I don’t know what is.
I also unearthed the story of a taxpayer with emphysema that was allowed a deduction for putting in a swimming pool after his doctor ordered an exercise routine. I’ve scheduled an appointment with my doctor to discuss my stress/anxiety/blood pressure/knee/hammer toe/toenail fungus and multiple personality disorders. At least one or more of these issues should warrant a prescription for exercise that I can fill at any local swimming pool construction company. I’ve tentatively scheduled the pool opening party for Memorial Day weekend.
Finally, I learned that any business convention held in Bermuda can be written off without showing there was a special reason to conduct your business in this tropical paradise. This might be a good time to extend the invitation to the 2012 “How to Live With and Get a Tax Deduction for Your Teenagers” convention, date to be determined as soon as my travel agent calls me back. Your keynote speaker will be Mama Bread Baker and for an extra $19.95, Chief Money Maker will set up your pool cabana. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
Overall, I believe I secured our maximum allowable deductions for 2011 without triggering any significant audit flags. For 2012, I plan to incorporate some of the tax tips contained in this article. I’ve also begun the paperwork to apply for 501(c)(3) status as a food bank. If approved, you can donate to the Crumb Snatcher Food for Starving Teenagers Foundation and deduct your generous donations on your 2012 taxes.
To quote Dave Barry, my favorite humorist, “It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.”
What is the oddest tax deduction you would like the IRS to allow for your situation?
© 2012 CThacker