You Wouldn’t Believe What is Considered a Tax Deduction

article by Arya A. author
Can you deduct your cat on your taxes? Unfortunately, no. Sorry Fluffy. However, you'd be very surprised at some of the things men and women have legally deducted from their taxes every year. You don't need to be a tax genius to claim these credits, you just need to be “in the know.”

State Sales Tax

Did you know that state sales tax is deductible from your tax return? If you live in a state that doesn’t have income tax, like Nevada, this is a great deal as it can reduce your tax bill.

Sales tax for major purchases like automobiles are deductible as well as general sales tax but you have to have documentation like receipts to back up the claim. Most of the best online tax filing services will automatically help you calculate the credit or you can use the calculator provided by the IRS. Those people who have a box of receipts under their desk? That is exactly what they are thinking.

Please note that if you live in a state that does collect state income tax, the income tax deduction will likely be greater than the sales tax deduction.

Last Year’s State Taxes

If you’re self-employed or a business owner, chances are you had to pay state taxes last year. Did you know that this amount is deductible on this year’s federal tax return? If you didn’t know before, now you do. You can deduct any state income tax paid from last year on this year’s form and you don’t need to itemize to do so.

Travel Expenses for Military Reservists

Are you in the National Guard or a reservist? You may be able to deduct travel expenses for weekend drills or meetings. To qualify, you have to drive more than 100 miles to the drill or meeting location and you must stay overnight.

If you qualify, you can deduct the entire cost of lodging and half of your meals. You can also deduct $0.54 a mile as well as any parking fees or tolls. Also, you don’t have to itemize to get this deduction.

Moving Your Pet When You Take a New Job

Some of you may be aware that the cost of relocating for a new job is deductible. But did you know that your deduction also applies to your pet? Surprise!

Any costs you incur to move your pet, such as pet lodging, acquiring transport carriers and more are deductible as part of your moving expenses.

Get a Deduction for Losing Weight

You may not be aware of this, but losing weight may be tax deductible. If your doctor has told you that your health is being impacted by your weight, steps you take in order to lose weight can be deductible. Provided that your doctor signs off on the steps or programs that you’re undertaking to lose weight, these activities can be deducted as a medical expense.

Cost of Preparing Taxes

How much did it cost you to prepare your tax return last year? If you are itemizing deductions, self-employed or a farmer, you can deduct the cost of tax preparation services on your return. When claiming this deduction, you’re allowed to deduct expenses related to filing a return, any legal advice received regarding the return and even the cost of tax-related books. If you decide to e-file using the best tax software like TaxAct, you can also deduct the cost of the program.

Note that you have to claim the deduction the same year as the fees are paid. If you’re using a tax preparer rather than e-filing, make sure you know how much they charge up-front so you can deduct that amount. (Or just save money by e-filing yourself!)

16 comments
Harry says:

I’ve used the weight loss deduction! I was 125 lbs overweight and the doctor basically told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I was on course for a heart attack in five years. So, I entered into a medically-supervised weight loss program. Lost about 95 lbs so far, which the doc is thrilled about. Got a nice deduction for it too, which my wife is thrilled about. More money for her.

Beverly says:

You can deduct moving expenses for pets? Seriously? I had to put my two dogs up for two nights at a pet sitter when we moved across state last year. I spent over $300 in “pet related” moving expenses. Would have been nice to know I could have deducted that before filing my taxes last month. Time to fire my tax accountant! (Ok not really. He’s my husband.)

Donny says:

Note that for things like sales tax deductions that you can only claim them if you itemize your deductions. If you take a standard deduction, you can’t claim them. For many, the standard deduction is more than itemizing deduction.

Josh says:

The deductions for reservists are a real thing. I’ve been using them for years. I have to travel 2 hours each way to go to my trainings each month so the mileage comes in handy. Just make sure you keep good records just in case.

Debbie says:

Even though some of these are funny and surprising, taxes are so overwhelming this article stressed me out.

Alice says:

Is there anywhere we can go to get more tips like this on doing your own taxes???

Jaime says:

I feel like if you told the doctor you wanted a weight loss deduction signature, they’d think you had bigger problems than just weight.

Kyle says:

I can’t believe there’s a tax deduction for moving a pet!

Edward I. says:

How does the new tax bill change any of this?

Randy K says:

Nice to know the government will help pay my legal fees for their ridiculous tax code!!

Henry says:

I thought Congress was supposed to simplify the tax code. Seriously, this is crazy that there are so many loopholes you need to know about. Frustrating.

Nancy K says:

Or you can just be rich and deduct everything and pay no tax. Just sayin’.

Nina76 says:

So you can’t deduct fluffy but you can deduct fluffy moving house!! Love it… great post!

Elliot DK says:

Can you really deduct taxes for losing weight? Can you provide a resource that proves this is the case? (I don’t want to get a penalty due to a badly research article…sorry)

Abi Jones says:

is it better to opt for income tax or sales tax deductions, if you live somewhere where you have the choice?

Bryce Murphy says:

Hi. I’m planning on e-filing for the first time this year and I’m looking for some advice. How easy is the process? Is it simple enough that I could do it by myself, or do you recommend using a software? Thanks.