Breast implants and a private jet: you will be surprised what you can deduct from taxes in the USA - ForumDaily
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Breast Implants and a Private Jet: You'll Be Surprised by What You Can Deduct on Your US Taxes

Most Americans know that charitable contributions, retirement contributions, student loans, and mortgage interest are not taxable. What about your pets, swimming pool, private jet or cosmetic surgery? USAToday highlighted unusual deductions that taxpayers have requested and received from the IRS.

Photo: iStock.com/Melpomenem

Over the years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has allowed some unusual tax deductions, but the circumstances were very specific. Essentially, taxpayers had to prove that the items and procedures were necessary for them, constituted legitimate business expenses, and were not personal expenses.

It is important to note that even though unusual deductions have been approved, accountants recommend that you consult with a professional before taking any unusual deductions.

Breast implants

Cosmetic surgery is generally a personal expense and is not eligible for a tax deduction.

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However, in 1994, self-employed exotic dancer Cynthia Hess (known as Chesty Love) won her tax case. This allowed her breast implants in 1988 to be considered a legitimate business expense and therefore deductible. She claimed that they were necessary to earn a living and that otherwise she would not have enlarged her breasts to such large sizes.

The court decided that breast implants met a two-part test: necessary as a condition of employment (1) and not suitable for everyday use (2). Breasts served as an analogue of the "suit" necessary for her work in order to earn money. Due to their size, they were not suitable for everyday use, but they could not be removed on a daily basis.

Private jet

John and Joanna French won the case in 1990 and wrote off their private jet on their 1984 taxes. They claimed they used their private jet to manage their properties, advertise and rent out their Mammut Lakes, California apartment.

They flew there from their home in San Jose, California, instead of driving 5,5 to 7,5 hours each time. Since the couple worked full-time, it made sense for them to fly there by private jet to make efficient use of their time rather than relying on one commercial flight a day to Mammut Lakes.

The IRS argued that Mammut Lakes was a vacation destination and the trips were personal expenses.

Ultimately, the court decided that, given the circumstances and the fact that the couple flew there to personally manage their apartment, the expenses were reasonable and therefore not taxable.

Pets

“If you simply have a pet to love and spend time with, even if you post it on social media, that animal will not be eligible for a tax deduction,” said Kathryn Kauffelt, head of tax compliance. at Collective. This includes emotional support animals, which are not considered service animals because they are not specifically trained to support any condition.

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However, in some cases you can get deductions related to pets:

  • In 1995, landfill owner Samuel Seawright won a $300 deduction for cat food, claiming he had to spread out the cat food to attract feral cats and prevent snakes and rats from entering his landfill. The key point here is that the feed was used for his business;
  • in 2011, Jan Elizabeth Van Dusen won a $100 deduction for expenses related to “raising a foster cat.” The expenses, the court ruled, qualify as unreimbursed expenses for the services of a charitable organization. However, please note that expenses of $250 or more require written confirmation from the charity;
  • if you serve in the military, you can deduct the cost of moving your personal belongings to a new home, and pets are considered your personal property;
  • Service animal expenses may be deductible as medical expenses.

Swimming pools and other health facilities

If you just want to go to the gym to get a little workout or stay in good health, your membership will not be deductible.

However, if your doctor prescribes something “to relieve or prevent a physical or mental disability or disease,” you may be eligible for tax benefits. That “something,” for example, could be a swimming pool if you need hydrotherapy to treat a medical condition.

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