Wild and crazy tax deductions 2013 edition

Simple Simon's dilemma
Simple Simon's dilemma © MSPhotographic/

Meals really are the tastiest tax deduction, aren't they?

While the IRS allows certain taxpayers (think business owners) to deduct 50 percent of their business and travel meal expenses, it's hardly a dunkin' deduct, given the numerous IRS requirements.

Nonetheless, previous crazy tax roundups have included a proud father who tried to write off a $50,000 wedding as a business meeting and a traveling salesman (and future cardiology patient) who ate two-thirds of his meals at Hooters with zero recall of which clients he'd schmoozed.

Add to the menu this delectable morsel from a San Francisco-area CPA.

"I had a client who had a small chain of pie stores. One day, he said that going out to lunch was always a tax dilemma because he didn't know if he should charge the cost to meals or to (research and development). He said that he always ordered pie at lunch and tried to analyze the ingredients for a possible addition to his menu," the CPA relates.

While the IRS allows a full deduction for research and development-related expenses as opposed to the 50 percent business meal write-off, Simple Simon would have to turn up with something more substantial than crumbs on his cashmere to pass the sniff test.

"I told him it should be meals," the accountant says.


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