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Are Your Tax Return Claims Funny, Fatal or Both?

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Filing taxes is no laughing matter, as anyone who’s tangled with the IRS knows. However, some taxpayers have wildly creative ideas of what constitutes a legitimate claim and come up with some that are outrageously funny. They’re generally fatal too, if they make it through to the IRS. Here are some of the funniest claims I’ve seen in a long time. Have you ever heard of a “water computer”? Me neither until I saw this on One CPA actually had to tell a client they could not claim their sailboat as a “water computer”! How about plastic surgery, Botox treatments, and monthly visits to the hair salon? These are items that taxpayers frequently try to slip in claiming that their professions require a certain appearance. Nice try, but no cigar! Here’s a good one: Speeding Tickets. Even if it’s because you were late for a business meeting, speeding tickets are fines and therefore, not deductible on your tax return. Unusual Charitable Deductions are often an area where people try to get away with unusual claims. This one is fresh. One CPA’s client was insisting on declaring a vehicle that was impounded by the police. It was not deemed a qualifying deduction. At least that client had a sensible CPA. I’m surprised I’ve never seen any ex-CPA’s working the stand up comedy circuit. With such depth and breadth of rich material there is room and it may be time for CPA comedy. For a complete list of current outrageous tax claims, visit And if you want to be a comedian, run with it! If any clients get in IRS trouble, give me a call. I may not be funny, but I am effective!

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