Most Ridiculous Tax Write-Offs of All Time

Heather Murphy-Raines
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Heather Murphy-Raines/Scout's Honor
Tax season is upon us, my friends. Gah, I know. Shockingly, my family's tax return for this year is minutes from being filed. My husband did most of the work. I just need to check it over one last time. 

We don't probably take all the tax deductions we could.  We do itemize clothing deductions and household goods. We, of course, write-off mortgage and student loans and charitable donations.

We tend to generally over-estimate our taxes so we always have a big, juicy check come tax time rather than a giant bill (something we learned the hard way early on in our marriage). In fact, in my house, we refer to Uncle Sam as an enforced savings plan -- a piggy bank if you will. 

It seems, however, that other Americans see it as their piggy bank to raid. To cheat. To steal from our children's future. My friends, you would not BELIEVE what people write-off ...

I suppose I first found out how creative people were with their taxes when my actress sister-in-law wrote off expensive make-up for auditions. Really? Make-up? Don't all women, no matter the job, generally use it daily?

I have soon found that writing-off make-up was tame. Yes, very tame considering there are strippers writing off their boob jobs and work clothes. Elvis impersonators who write off leisure suits. Junk yard operators claiming cat food for their pets and calling vet bills an "exterminator expense." A pro bodybuilder claimed body oil to make his muscles glisten during his competitions. (The tax court ruled that the oil was a business expense, but nixed his deductions for buffalo meat and "special vitamin supplements" to enhance strength and muscle development.)

Let's not forget the widower whose charitable donations included "a list of all the deceased's bras and panties priced quite liberally." YES, USED underwear from his dead wife -- and the IRS allowed it.

My favorite scammers, though, are the doctors who for obvious reasons were audited.  One claimed a "time monitoring system," which turned out to be a ROLEX! Another doctor claimed 2/3 of his {ahem} "business" lunches at HOOTERS. Man, it must be tough to be a doctor!

However, the one that takes the cake? A man hired a arsonist to burn his building to the ground to collect insurance. Still greedy, he claimed the $10,000 as a EXPENSE on his taxes.

Who knew there were so many inventive ways to cheat the system--some of them even legal.

Do you know someone with a creative flair for taxes? What do you write-off on your taxes?

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