Unusual But Legal Tax Deductions for Ordinary Folks

As tax time rolls around, we begin to wonder just how creative we can legally be when it comes to claiming deductions. Who wouldn’t prefer their hard-earned money to stick around for a bit instead of heading off to fatten up Uncle Sam’s bank account? But there’s a very fine line between creative and illegal, so keep that in mind when deciding on your course of action this tax season.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses that cost more than 7.5 percent of your gross income are tax deductible. These even include some of the more unconventional treatments and service animal-related expenses.

One couple even used this fact to cover some of their expenses when they installed a home swimming pool as part of a doctor approved exercise regime. There was even one woman who deducted her kid’s clarinet lessons, citing a medical study that claimed they would help correct the child’s overbite.

Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, treatment facilities, health conference, and support group meetings can also be counted off your taxes at the current mileage rates under certain circumstances. Being a part of a program to help you quit smoking, combat alcohol addiction, or get in shape could even be tax deductible. The bad news is that you, your spouse, or your dependents will have get sick in order for these deductions to apply.

Charitable Contributions

Volunteers who work with nonprofit organizations may also be able to count the money that they spend as part of their duties as a charitable contribution. This was certainly the case with a California woman who successfully wrote off all the money that she spent on pet food while she was working with an organization that protected the feral cat population.

Another person who did something similar was a mom who had hired a babysitter so that she could volunteer her time at a charity event. On a less quirky note, you can usually deduct the resell value of items that you’ve given to charity. This is especially useful if the items in question were valuable things such as wedding gowns, prom dresses, and antiques.

More Feasible Deductions

State and local income taxes can usually be subtracted from your gross income on your tax report. But if you live in a place where that isn’t applicable, you may be able to deduct your state sales taxes instead. Annual vehicle registration fees are also considered tax deductible in some places. However, starting next year, there’s going to be a limit on personal income and sales tax deductions.

Tax Prep

If the work involved in filing your taxes ends up costing you more than 2 percent of your entire annual income, you can probably write the excess down as a legitimate tax deduction. It just might be worth the time it takes to tally up your accountant’s fees as well as the cost of any new tax-related software or books that you bought to help you make sense of the process.


Image Credit: Meditations via Pixabay.

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