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The 5 Strangest Tax Deductions You Really Can Take

Most of us don’t know a lot about available tax deductions. Sure there are some standard ones – deductions for children, for business costs, and things of that nature – but there are many others that only the tax experts know about. These hidden deductions can be the impetus you need to meet with an experienced tax preparer before submitting your financial documents.


Some of these largely unknown tax deductions exist in the dark corners because they just seem strange. Here are 5 surprising ones you’ll really find on the books.

Tips For Teacher

Teachers, especially those in the public school system, frequently spend a lot of money out of their own pockets on classroom supplies. While not all of these expenses may be deductible, up to $250 can make their way back to your pocket when you report items purchased for your classroom on your taxes.

The Policy On Pets

What exactly is our relationship to our pets? To some, they’re like children, but you certainly won’t get the standard dependent deduction for your pet cats. There is a chance you can write off pet supplies like vet bills and food as charity deductions – a California woman named Jan Van Dusen won this deduction in court. You can also deduct pet moving expenses if you have to relocate for a job. Hopefully that will make up for the fact that your pet refuses to take up meaningful employment no matter how much you nag.

Expert Energy Deductions

You might know that you can make deductions for household items like Energy Star appliances, but if you’re extra energy efficient, there are a few lesser known products that can help you save on taxes. Wind energy, solar water heating, and geothermal pumps all qualify for deductions.

Take It To Court

If you think that you have standing on a unique deduction, you might end up taking your case to court. A tax attorney will offer representation for tax appeals as one of their services, so you may want to avoid doing your taxes independently if you plan to claim a controversial expense.

For example, when the exotic dancer Chesty Love claimed her breast augmentation as a business expense, she had to go to court for a decision. She won the case – but as tax attorney Dr. Joyce Rebhun, it’s important that you go into these cases knowing your tax rights. You can’t claim your girlfriend’s housekeeping as a business expense, but if you pay her to monitor progress on contracting work, that may fly in tax court, as seen in Bruce v. Commissioner.

Taxes may be a puzzle no one has quite figured out, but some careful logic and creative categorizing can help you win big on deductions not found in any guidelines. But don’t go testing those waters without representation by a tax professional.