Certain income reductions—such as charitable contributions, medical expenses, personal casualty losses, and so on—are subject to tax deductions. These deductions lower a person’s tax liability via their taxable income, which will generally lower the amount of taxes they owe throughout the year. While the examples listed above are generally known about, there’s plenty out in the world that surprisingly count as a tax deduction as well. Here are some of the strangest ones.
A clarinet can be used by more than your fourth grader who wanted to join their school’s concert band or a professional about to partake in a musical’s orchestra. Clarinets are also used as a legitimate remedy for orthodontics issues—and, when used in this matter, are a means for tax reduction. This tax deduction was approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) thanks to a 1962 ruling, which applies to both the clarinet’s cost and the lessons paid for. The only requirement is that an orthodontist needs to recommend playing the instrument as part of a person’s orthodontic treatment.
Installing a Pool or Spa
Can you convince your doctor to prescribe the installation of a pool or spa as part of your medical treatment? If so, you’ll be able to include the cost of such a thing as a tax deduction. Much like the clarinet, the pool or spa must be part of a medical treatment—in this case, “to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental illness or a medical condition.” The downside to this is that the installation also counts as a capital improvement to your home, so while you can deduct some of the installation costs, you won’t be able to deduct the whole thing.
Painting Your Home Office
A home office deduction does exist! You may be able to deduct the cost of painting it from your taxes. This depends on whether or not you use your office exclusively for business purposes or not: if so, then the entire cost of the paint can be deducted, while if you also use your office for daily life, you can only deduct a portion of the paint cost.
Paying ransom seems like something that only happens in movies, but it’s a legitimate thing that businesses face. Cybercriminals can hack into a business’s information and steal customer lists, company secrets, and more to sell to its competitors—unless, of course, the business in question pays the right price. If a business ends up paying a ransom, that amount can be tax-deductible so long as the business filed a report with both the SEC and the local police. If they did not, then the ransom cannot be deducted.