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Five Surprising Things the IRS Allows as a U.S. Tax Write Off

Finding items and expenditures that qualify as a tax write off on your federal tax return is definately a profitable skill to develop. A little bit of research can save you thousands on legitimate tax deductions. But the things that qualify are not always obvious even though they are valid deductions. Five surprising items can be used as a tax write off if certain  conditions are met.

A New Spa

Tax Write OffsSpas are considered luxury items in some homes. They are important medical treatment devices in other houses. Spas provide buoyancy, relief from chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and increased mobility after an injury. They can also be used to relieve severe anxiety. This makes it possible to write off a spa that is considered a medical device. Regardless of the features of different spa models, spas can be written off as long as you can prove that they are for medicinal purposes.

Local Sales Taxes

Many tax filers know that it is possible to deduct local income taxes from federal returns based on a published table. What is not as commonly known is that it is possible to deduct local sales taxes instead. This is very valuable for people living in states that do not have income tax. The deduction is governed by a tax table showing how much can be written off based on the total amount of sales tax that was paid in the last year.

The Cost of Caring for Stray Animals

The IRS allows the cost of caring for a stray cat, dog or other animal to be written off completely. These costs can include food, medical care and the expense of any accessories needed to care for the animal properly. The deduction can even cover the cost of caring for multiple animals at the same time or throughout the year. The only requirement is that a local charitable animal shelter must provide a letter stating that the care was being provided in lieu of care at the facility.

Contact Lenses and Supplies

It is possible to write off the cost of contact lenses throughout the year. The cost of necessary accessories like saline solution or lens cases can be included as well. This deduction is only possible if the contact lenses are required medically to improve sight. The cost of the lenses must also exceed 7.5 percent of the gross annual income over the same period of time.

Losses Due To Gambling

Since you have to pay for winnings it’s only fair that you can also write off losses. Remember: All income must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This includes all proceeds that might have been gained through gambling. This can be a large issue in areas with casinos although winnings from lottery tickets must also be reported. If winnings from gambling are reported, then it is possible to write off any losses due to gambling as well. The losses do not even have to be from the same source. They could be any provable expenses such as receipts for casino games or non-winning lottery tickets.

Since tax regulations are constantly changing, it always pays to review the IRS deduction guidelines before claiming any deductions or write offs. You may find new ones that you are eligible for and old ones that are no longer valid. Another easy way to to verify your deductions is to use Tax Software in preparing your taxes. The current year’s software should have the up to date regulations.

See Also:

8 Ways to Stick to Your Financial Resolutions

5 Good Reasons To Get Title Insurance

Financial Jargon – Investment Terminology for Beginners


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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+

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