News and advice for small business owners, by small business owners.

Call us for free financing advice:

1 (800) Fundera 386‐3372

The 10 Most Creative Small Business Tax Deductions

When you own a business, it can seem like you’re constantly shelling out money just to keep afloat. Fortunately, many of these expenses will net you a small business tax deduction at the end of the year.

Of course, you may buy some things for your business that are a little on the iffy side. Surely Uncle Sam wouldn’t accept “that” as a legitimate business expense? Let’s take a look at some of the zanier business expenses that business owners have successfully gotten past the IRS:

  1. Body Oil – A Wisconsin professional body builder was able to convince the IRS that the body oil he used to showcase his rippling muscles was a necessary business expense.
  2. Dinah Shore’s Ball Gowns – Actress Dinah Shore was able to get away with a tax deduction for the fancy dresses she wore on her television show because she was able to prove that they were so tight that she couldn’t even sit down in them, thus she could only use them for the business of show business.
  3. A Trip to the Caribbean – Business conventions held in some spots in the Caribbean are eligible for a tax write-off, and you don’t have to tell Uncle Sam why you choose that exotic locale. Sadly, more far flung destinations don’t garner the same write off unless you can prove you held your convention in that location for a special, strictly-business, reason.
  4. Dog Food – No, we don’t mean Fido the family pet. But if you use a dog to guard your business then he just might be a tax write off.
  5. …And Cat Food – Owners of a scrapyard were able to deduct the cat food they set out to attract feral cats. Their reasoning? The cats kept away snakes, rats and other pests, thus eliminating a business safety hazard!
  6. Breast Implants – Topless dancer “Chesty Love” was able to prove that her earnings increased as the result of her surgical augmentation, and a tax court upheld that her tax deduction for breast implants was very real.
  7. Legal Fees – Even if you’ve been up to some shady business in your business, the legal fees you wrack up while battling the charges are tax deductible.
  8. Fines – Do you know those fines that your favorite sports stars receive for things like wearing a sombrero on the field? Players can actually write off those huge amounts on their taxes!
  9. Carrier Pigeons – One businessman was so distrustful of modern technology that he employed carrier pigeons to communicate with his business partner across town. And guess what? The IRS allowed it.
  10. Nose Surgery – A wine shop owner convinced the IRS that his nose surgery was a necessary medical expense since he relied so heavily on his sense of smell to run his shop.

Have you ever taken a “creative” small business tax deduction? What was it?

Jennifer Dunn

Jennifer Dunn

Contributor at Fundera
Jennifer Dunn is a small business contributor for Fundera and owner of Social Street Media. She is also the community manager at GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, and her long-standing life goal is to learn something new every day.
Jennifer Dunn