1040 Good Buddy
April 4 | 1 Comment
As I look out my office window I see the cherry blossoms, tulips and bears awakening from their winter slumber. This only means one thing; it’s tax time. I hope the IRS doesn’t read this because I have to admit that I haven’t filed a tax return in my life. My father however will be working the weekend to insure a timely submission.
So this article is rather timely on what he can and can’t deduct as it relates to me.
That’s right — Bankrate’s back with another nine of the craziest tax write-offs you’ve ever heard of, in the hope it will make paying your 2007 federal income tax a little bit easier.
For our previous installment of the nine weirdest write-offs, we combed the country collecting stories from certified public accountants about the craziest tax deductions they’d ever seen. The search turned up plenty of ingenious ways in which taxpayers have tried to justify deducting everything from ostrich breeding and dog food to sperm donations.
Dogs once again get their due in this year’s collection. Though our pets may seem like part of the family, as we will see, attempts to treat them as actual dependents — or more outrageously, subcontractors — simply won’t fly with the Internal Revenue Service.
Let’s take a look at the specific doggie deductions shall we…
Dog-ductions, part 1
What dog lover hasn’t melted when man’s best friend gives him that baleful look as he heads off to work? One taxpayer decided to create his own tax rule to ease the pain: “There is one individual who tried to deduct a day-care expense for their dog,” Barghini says.
“The person was working, and they didn’t feel that the dog should be left alone, so they hired somebody to watch the dog, then tried to take a day-care tax credit for the doggy-sitting. The dog clearly was an economic dependent, but not for tax purposes.”
Sounds legit to me and I’m sure to all you fuzzy pawed readers out there. Really, what’s the difference to the government if your owner pays for the supervision of a cute, adorable canine or a snotty nosed, poop machine. If you ask me canine racism at the upper echelon of gov’t is at play here, but that’s another story for another day.
Dog-ductions, part 2
You think it’s hard to find good help? Tell it to the IRS. Even the CPA source for this one wished to remain anonymous:”A landscaper who was under audit with the IRS had deducted the expense of their dog because he would pull the wagon on landscaping jobs. They felt he was out there helping. He may have been listed as an independent contractor.”
Landscaping is hard work. I hope ‘Buddy’ was paid accordingly and he filed the appropriate tax forms.
Dog-ductions, part 3
Barghini had one enterprising client who believed he’d found a doggone great way to boost his charitable deduction and thus shave a little off his taxes.
“An individual who bred dogs was looking for a tax deduction, so he thought that he would give one of his dogs to the Humane Society and take a deduction for it. They were valuable dogs but he bred it, so he could not take a tax deduction for it.”
The reason? Barghini explains that the tax code allows you to depreciate over time such breeding stock as cattle, race horses and, yes, even show dogs, provided you are breeding them with the intent to sell the offspring. In these instances, you may depreciate the breeding male or female, but not the offspring.
I can understand this tax code as it relates to cattle and horses but to canines? We don’t depreciate in value over time, my friends. Any owner will attest to that.