Clarinet lessons, lawn care, and more: Unusual, yet legitimate, tax deductions


FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 file photo shows part of a 1040 federal tax form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website. On Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s tax rate on a family making $75,000 dollars a year would go from 12% to 25%. A current federal tax rate of 12% applies to families making up to $80,000, or individuals making up to $40,000. That would still apply under Biden, who has vowed publicly not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. (Associated Press)

(ABC4) – If you are rushing to file your taxes on time for the May 17 deadline – or received an extension – you might want to be aware of some unusual tax deductions and credits.

While the below tax breaks may seem unrealistic, they are completely legal, according to

Medical-related expenses

Have a child that is taking clarinet lessons? That is a deduction as a medical expense. Clarinet lessons can serve as a means to correct a child’s overbite, according to a 1962 case where an orthodontist argued playing the instrument can correct the issue.

The costs of your swimming pool may count as a deduction. If you have a medical condition, like arthritis, and purchase a swimming pool to help relieve your condition, pool costs could be an approved deduction.

Did you purchase nicotine patches or participate in a program to quit smoking? Those expenses may qualify for a deduction. This may also be true if you lost weight, if your doctor signs off on weight-loss expenses and claims your life might be in danger if you don’t exercise and drop a few pounds.

Pet-related expenses

If you lost your job and are relocating to start a new one, expenses for moving your pets may be tax-deductible. To qualify, eFile says you must be an active duty military member or an employee who has reimbursed expenses dated before January 1, 2019 and didn’t claim them on a prior tax return.

Cat food can be expensive. If you, for example, own a junkyard and put cat food out to attract local strays in order to keep away mice and rats, it can be a business expense.

Other unique expenses

If you pay someone to babysit for you while you volunteer or perform charitable deeds, you can deduct your babysitter expenses.

Did you start working at home amid the pandemic? Costs to care for your lawn may count as a deduction if the condition of your lawn is impactful to your business performance. For example, if you see clients at your home office, law care expenses may be deductible.

Maybe you don’t have a lawn, but what about a whaling boat? If you do, and had to do repairs to your vessel, you can deduct up to $10,000. But, you shouldn’t start a whaling business for the write-off, according to eFile, considering the U.S. government has banned whaling and only certain Native American tribes are allowed to engage in it.

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For more unique and legitimate tax deductions and exemptions, visit

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