Now that RRSP season is over, it's time to worry about taxes. However, since it's finally Friday, we figure you've taken enough punishment and won't guilt you about inefficient tax planning and procrastinating about filing your return.
Instead, join us for a look at some remarkable expenses that taxpayers south of the border have tried to claim as tax deductions, as compiled by CNN Money. (A spokeswoman for the Canada Revenue Agency said it doesn't collect similar information.) Perhaps something to keep in mind when you do get around to filing at last.
1. A New York lawyer tried to claim services rendered by prostitutes, totalling $65,934, as medical expenses. He also attempted to deduct nearly $5,000 for pornography and similar magazines. The U.S. Tax Court nixed them both.
2. A couple in Tennessee bought 20 chickens and 2 emus and sold chicken eggs and emu feathers. They claimed the cost of the birds' feed and maintenance as expenses. But they didn't record the income generated, so the court ruled that they didn't have a legitimate business.
3. A California lawyer tried to claim candy and flowers for secretaries. The court deemed them personal expenses, not necessary for a trade or business.
4. A body builder tried to claim buffalo meat, protein shakes and oil as business expenses. The court nixed the meat but allowed him to deduct oils and tanning products, since they were marketed only through bodybuilding publications and therefore, appeared to be valid business expenses.
5. A professional musician playing for Rod Stewart's band once tried to claim men's underwear as stage clothes. The court ruled against him.
6. A Tennessee pilot tried to deduct loofa sponges, grass seed, a shower curtain and sporting goods items as business expenses for his aviation activities. The court found that these were personal expenses and not necessary for his job as a pilot.
7. A self-employed stockbroker from South Carolina tried to deduct a $1,150, 75-gallon saltwater aquarium, an electric oven and the upholstering of a sofa as business expenses. The court ruled they were personal expenses.
8. A doctor from Massachusetts tried to deduct thousands of dollars in costs for donating his sperm to in vitro fertilization. He wanted to claim them as medical expenses. The court ruled against him, since he was deemed capable of procreating naturally.
9. A self-employed tax preparer from Georgia attempted to deduct nail polish remover, milk, beer and underclothes as business expenses. The IRS deemed them personal items.
10. A self-employed salesman from California tried to deduct a 20-day class that cost nearly $1,500 taught by the Church of Scientology as a business expense, saying it was necessary for his career. The court held that he could have read the same book at home and that that particular class was not absolutely necessary for his work.