Tax season has passed us by, but it’s not too early to start looking for ways to maximize your refund or limit your tax liability next year. There are dozens of interesting and unique tax deductions you might’ve missed. Below you can take a look at some of the more unique deduction opportunities that may be available to you.
A pastime for many, even Bingo can be deducted on your taxes. You can deduct your Bingo losses every year up to the amount that you won. That means if you won $5000 last year, you can deduct up to $5000 in losses in the same year. As you might expect, this deduction requires you to submit a relatively detailed amount of information regarding your winnings and losses for the year. The IRS allows this type of deduction for a variety of wagering, provided that taxpayer keeps a detailed diary of the wagers involved, where they were placed, who the wagers were between, and how much was won or lost.
Minor Business Gifts
The IRS is cool with giving small business gifts, provided that they aren’t excessively lavish. Essentially, this means that you are allowed to deduct as much as $25 on a business gift for each individual. You can also deduct gifts that are distributed to many employees if they’re branded with your name, such as a pen or bag, and the gifts are under four dollars. For those kinds of set gifts, the total sum of the cost can be deducted, even exceeding the $25 limit for individuals.
Although whale hunting remains virtually banned within the United States, it remains a heavy protected trade for a handful of people who are indigenous to Alaska. For the past 11 years, tribal whale hunters have been able to write off as much as $10,000 in whaling equipment each year, including repairs to their crafts, harpoons, food for their crew, and so on. It’s worth mentioning that whale hunting is still a very limited, seasonal tradition, only legally permissible for a small number of indigenous tribes—if you don’t belong to one of those tribes, you shouldn’t try to deduct whaling expenses from your taxes.
Weight Loss Programs
In one of the most overweight countries in the world, it might not be too surprising to learn that the costs for some weight loss programs can be deducted from your taxes. In order to be eligible, you have to be part of a program to treat a specific condition that has been diagnosed by a doctor. Even then, many fees are not eligible, including swim lessons, health club membership dues, and a variety of other alternative programs. If you’re not sure what qualifies, you can consult with a tax professional or check with the IRS.
A variety of work-related clothing is available for deduction, provided that it meets two simple qualifications. First and foremost, it has to be worn as an absolute condition of being employed in that position. For example, a firefighter has no choice whether to show up in a firefighter uniform—its required for the job. The second condition is that your uniform can’t be a substitute for standard everyday clothes. So if you work in an office environment where you are expected to dress business casual, those business casual clothes are not deductible because they could just as easily be everyday clothes.
In South Carolina, any professional butcher, meatpacker, or processing plant can earn $50 in a rebate by donating a processed deer carcass to a charitable organization. The carcass must be entirely new, meaning none of the meat can be used for any commercial purpose, and those making the donation must prepare the meat for distribution before it’s donated. This includes skinning, cutting, and packaging the meat. That’s a pretty narrow niche, but if you qualify, don’t forget to nab that extra chunk of change!
You may not qualify for many of these deductions, but there are a number of surprising tax write-offs you may have missed. Spend some time before next tax season doing a little research to see if you qualify for any deductions you may have missed this year. Remember, if you’ve missed any favorable deductions that will materially alter your tax return to your benefit, the IRS allows you to amend tax returns going back as far as 3 years ago before the April 15th deadline.