News & Politics

12 of the Craziest Tax Deductions Washingtonians Have Ever Tried to Take

It’s tax season, when even the most honest taxpayer may wonder: Can I deduct that? We asked financial advisers we surveyed to tell us the most outlandish tax deduction a client ever tried to take. Here are some of the more far-fetched.

“Their house pet as a guard dog for their business.”

“The cost of lottery tickets because the money raised went to education.”

“Dog food. The person’s view was that the dogs could be bred for resale.”

“Casualty loss on a dress after the wedding was called off and then the store closed its doors.”

“A hot tub for therapeutic/health reasons—and it worked!”

“A Ferrari because, as he told me, ‘My clients expect me to drive a Ferrari.’”

“The full cost of a new-home construction, dubbed an office, when only a small area under the staircase operated as a desk.”

“A lot of Washingtonians think their clothes are tax-deductible. Some people get on TV one time and they want to deduct their entire wardrobe.”

“Sneakers as a medical expense because a doctor said they should walk more.”

“A vacation home as a company apartment.”

“A family vacation as a company board meeting.”

“Folks around here are always trying to deduct their commuting costs, saying they spend so much time in transit that it should be compensated in some fashion.”

Looking for a financial planner, investment manager, or accountant? Head to our financial advisers guide to find the best financial planners and advisers in the DC area.

This article appears in our April 2016 issue of Washingtonian.