Slideshow 12 most outrageous business tax deductions

  • March 17 2014, 12:25am EDT
12 Images Total

1. A fur coat worn to promote a cleaning business

As one tax filer learned, you’ll never outfox the IRS.

2. A wedding ring

A diamond is forever, and so is a taxpayer’s inability to deduct the cost of a wedding ring.

Content Continues Below

3. Doggie deductions

Expenses for dogs: dogs as guard dogs, a small dog as a “burglar alarm,” dog adoption costs and even a dog as a dependent. CPAs heard it all this year. That’s 101 “uh-uhs” from CPAs and the IRS.

4. An ATV as a medical deduction for stress relief

No doubt, it’s fun to go out and let ‘er rip on the trails. But, the CPA and the IRS weren’t buying the ATV as a medical deduction in this case.

Content Continues Below

5. Placing a business sign on a personal automobile and writing off the car as an advertising expense

The CPA had to put this message in bright lights: Not deductible.

6. A family vacation

Ahh, the exquisite sand beaches and the cool ocean breeze. We hope the family enjoyed the vacation more than the tax filer enjoyed hearing the news that it wasn’t deductible.

Content Continues Below

7. A $1 million dollar deduction for a contribution of land without an appraisal

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but this generous donor learned the hard way that property value is not.

8. Infant employee

Sure, you can bring your children into the family business and count them as employees. But, as one business owner discovered, children who can’t yet walk or talk rarely qualify.

Content Continues Below

9. A large charitable deduction for a gift not given

One taxpayer thought that everyone could deduct a certain percentage of their income as a charitable deduction. Good news: They can! Bad news: They need to actually make the donation.

10. School lunches as a business expense

As one business owner learned, unless her child is closing business deals with other first-graders at the school, these lunches aren’t deductible.

Content Continues Below

11. Claiming a home theater as “video conferencing equipment”

As soon as a CPA got her hands on this taxpayer’s return, that proposed deduction was "gone with the wind."

12. Botox and tanning

One poor filer couldn’t even furrow her brow upon learning that these expenses weren’t deductible.