20 Overlooked and Unusual Tax Deductions You May Be Eligible For

Do You Have Pet Expenses?

Written by Carly Hallman

Those of us completing our tax returns this year may be scrambling to find some of the more obscure, hidden tax deductions to help us get a better refund, asking ourselves crazy questions: Can quitting smoking save you money on taxes? Can you claim pets on your taxes? What about all of the strange costs that can come with raising kids? We’ve created an unusual tax deductions list of random write-offs that you may qualify for, depending on your situation. See if you can use any of these!

Unusual Tax Refunds - You may Qualify!

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Can you claim your pets on your taxes?

As it turns out, the answer is yes … sometimes! Pets can qualify as one of those little-known tax deductions that many people would be eligible for, but most don’t realize are an option. You can claim a pet if it’s a service animal, which must be trained to perform tasks for disabled individuals. If you’ve fostered a pet or volunteered at a shelter, you can chalk that up as charitable contributions. On the other hand, pets might qualify as unusual business expenses if you use your pet as a guard dog at your business location or if you use your cat for pest control at your business (if it were common and accepted in your trade). Lastly, if you’ve relocated, add the expense of moving a pet to your list of tax write-offs.

What are some medical things that are tax-deductible?

With some creative tax deductions, the expensive things we do for our health can have an additional benefit. If you make responsible health decisions like quitting smoking, you may be eligible for a deduction under some interesting federal laws on health. If you took a pregnancy test or lost weight under a doctor’s orders using costly but proven programs like Weight Watchers, you can also include that expense. Even on the obscure tax write-off list is the cost of a swimming pool; if swimming helps a medical condition, the cost of a pool might be deductible. Another weird one is for children with a misaligned bite: Deduct the cost of clarinet lessons, as they’ve been proven to help with orthodontic issues!

Out of the more bizarre tax deductions, are there more that may apply to an average person?

We’ve all seen a list of tax deductions that are crazy but also legitimate due to strange federal laws, but the cost of whaling, for instance, may not apply to you. On the other hand, many people might end up with leftover wedding items, send their kid to a sports camp, or make an energy-efficient upgrade in their home, all of which are allowable tax write-offs. If you pay your kids a fair allowance, it may count as unusual business expenses. If you had jury duty pay, paid state taxes, moved away for your first job, bought a work uniform, or got an education outside of high school, you might also qualify!

Disclaimer: Check out your expenses on your own or use an expert; don’t only rely on this list to get deductions, as there’s plenty of fine print with all things. Also, there are plenty of other weird, funny situations in which strange deductions are plausible: If you’re a hairstylist or farmer, you might qualify for all sorts of things!

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