Thursday, March 24, 2011

6 Unexpected Tax Deductions

Last month, first lady Michelle Obama kicked up a surprising amount of controversy when she suggested that mothers be encouraged to breast-feed their children. The remark probably would have gone unnoticed had it not been for a concurrent addition to the tax code allowing parents to deduct breast pumps as a medical expense.

While it's not clear why anyone would object to the new rule (breast feeding has been around, well, forever), the dust-up did highlight the hundreds of myriad ways that taxpayers can reduce their tax burden by itemizing deductions.

Many of the most common deductions are well-known -- for instance, most people realize that you can deduct the interest paid on your mortgage, donations to charity or even moving costs. But few people realize just how many ways the system can be tweaked to score a deduction.

We pored over the tax code to find some unexpected deductions, and spoke to tax experts to find out how a creative interpretation of the tax code can get you some strange but budget-friendly deductions. Here are a few of our favorites.


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