Plastic surgery to cat food: Bizarre deductions taxpayers have claimed

With tax season underway, it is no secret that Americans want to limit their liabilities as much as possible – however there are some people who have gotten really creative over the years in reaching for those deductions.

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated or reduced some deductions this filing season, there are still a number of ways Americans can expect to benefit from the new law.

But some taxpayers think outside the box: From plastic surgery to a family pet, people have seriously pushed the envelope in attempt to lower their bills – and some have even succeeded.

TurboTax compiled a list of the strangest deductions taxpayers have attempted to claim – here’s a look at what they found.

Plastic surgery

A professional stripper once claimed her breast enhancement surgery as a business expense, arguing it would lead to bigger tips. The IRS conceded, equating the surgery to a stage prop essential for her performance.

The U.S. Tax Center at, however, noted that for the majority of people, plastic surgery does not qualify as a write-off. Generally, the surgery would need to be required as a condition of employment and unsuitable for everyday use.

Chesty Love, the stripper in question, had her breasts enlarged to an extreme extent – 56N – which helped her qualify.

Music lessons

One family was successful in claiming their child’s instrument as a deductible medical expense, since doctors said it could improve an overbite.

Private jet

One taxpayer attempted to write off his purchase of a private jet that he claimed was needed to check on an income-producing rental property in a remote location. The IRS eventually allowed the man to claim the costs of operating the jet to and from the property as a rental expense.

Cat food

A junkyard owner claimed cat food as a deductible expense, arguing it was necessary to feed the feral cats that in turn limit the number of rats and snakes at the compound. The deduction was approved as a valid business expense.

Super Bowl

One business associate tried to write off a trip to the Super Bowl with clients as a business expense, arguing it was for building relationships, according to the Tax Crisis Institute. However, he was unsuccessful in proving that the trip was in any way business related.


Pet dog

Under certain circumstances, owning a pet – including a service dog and a guard dog for your business –can help you shave money off of your tax bill.

However, simply because you treat your dog like a child, you cannot claim it as a dependent.