Wild and crazy tax deductions 2013 edition

Wait! The Pacific Ocean is nearby, too!
Wait! The Pacific Ocean is nearby, too! © Kim Ruoff/

We've heard some whoppers over the years involving attempts to justify a tax deduction for a new swimming pool, but this seemingly rational one from the client of a Northern California CPA quickly headed off the rails.

"My sweet, gray-haired client wanted to deduct a swimming pool because her doctor had prescribed daily swimming to rehab her knee," the CPA recalls. "I told her she'd need a letter from the doctor and an appraisal to see how much her house had increased in value because of the pool, since tax law says you reduce the medical deduction by the increase in the home's value."

The elderly client gave that some thought, then replied that an appraisal wouldn't be necessary because it was an above-ground pool.

End of story? Not quite.

"She went on to say that besides that, the pool was in her son's backyard and he also had a bad knee," the CPA chuckles. "I didn't ask if her grandchildren had inherited the family knee problems."


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