Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday 13: Things I Wish I Could Write Off on My Taxes

So this past Tuesday was the day everyone dreads: April 15th. Tax Day. How'd you do? I know; I know. Same here. Wouldn't it be great if you could write off some of those day-to-day expenses that Uncle Sam doesn't see as necessities? Things like:

1. Pets--Why can't I deduct Kismet, Miss Savannah, and Little Miss Bella Wigglebottom as dependents? They cost a fortune to feed and care for. The dog graduated obedience school, which makes her a student. The cats were adopted from a homeless shelter. And they're all members of the family, too! So why not give me a little bit off my income for having a heart? And along those lines...
2. Vet bills--If I have to take my dog for physical therapy three times a week, why can't I deduct that as a viable medical expense? Do you have any idea how much money I've spent on my dog's torn ACL? Especially with gas creeping close to 4 bucks a gallon? And while we're still on the subject of dependents, how 'bout...
3. My kids' friends--You know that house in the neighborhood all the teenagers flock to 'cuz it's full of "good crap to eat"? Yeah, well, it's my house. The same day I go food shopping they invade like Huns, tearing through my cupboards in search of Oreos, Jif, and ooh, look! The last box of Girl Scout Thin Mints! Note to my kids' friends' parents: So what if it has a high fat content? Buy a box of Twinkies, for God's sake! Cut my grocery bill in half.
4. Coffee--I don't know about you, but my coffee's as vital as blood plasma to my daily life. Without my coffee, I can't get out of bed. If I don't get out of bed, I don't go to work. If I don't go to work, I don't make a salary and therefore the U.S. government doesn't get to take a sizable portion of that income in taxes. So letting me write off my caffeine addiction is an economically sound plan, in my humble opinion.
5. Razzaritas (Raspberry Margaritas)--Used for medicinal purposes. 'Nuff said.
6. My daughter's hair fees--Call it a scientific experiment, but that girl of mine has a different hair color, length, and style every few weeks. The most recent experience, she went blond. Too blond. So now we have to take her back to the salon to have a brown added so she doesn't so closely resemble Storm from the X-Men.
7. Kids' sports equipment--Baseball, lacrosse, football, basketball. Every sport requires different sneakers, different mouthpieces, different helmets. I'm going broke at Sports Authority whenever the seasons change. Since I'm hoping the boy will get a sports scholarship to help pay for college, this should fall under the guidelines of an investment portfolio and should only be taxable if it pays a dividend (i.e., if he actually gets drafted by the Carolina Panthers like he dreams).
8. I-tunes--Since I use my music for inspiration to write, this should be considered a legitimate business expense. And hell, yes, I can prove listening to The Archies sing Sugar, Sugar gets my creative juices flowing.
9. Jujyfruits--Yes, they're horrible for my teeth. But they also keep me from killing the dh when he starts getting on my nerves. (I buy a big box every Friday to survive the weekend.) So they're really a crime deterrent.
10. AA batteries--Let's just call it "research" and move on, shall we?
11. Gifts for weddings, communions, birthdays, etc.--We all get invited to those shindigs for people we barely know or can't stand. Shouldn't the gifts we're forced to bring to those occasions fall under the category of "charitable donations"? And while we're on the subject, how about those...
12. School fundraisers--Who in their right mind spends twelve bucks on ten feet of wrapping paper? No one. Except when your son or daughter comes home with the big envelope (generally sometime during the second week of school). After the wrapping paper, it's some kind of bakery item, or food product, or restaurant coupons. You know you wouldn't buy any of this crap if a stranger tried to sell it to you. But we pry open the checkbook because our kids want a two dollar pen with a fuzzy head that lights up when you write with it. Now, that's charity!
13. Anything I have to buy because it's the law--kids' bike helmets, baby car seats, car insurance, etc. If the government insists I have to have it "for protection", why not cut me some slack on the cost?

How about you? What would you like to write off?