Sailing on the wide accountant sea
So it was April 16 and I was sitting around with a bunch of accountants who were happy to be alive and not under surveillance by Homeland Security ” as far as they knew.
We were working our way through the second round in a neighborhood brew pub when the numbers they were crunching began to stray from the straight and narrow, weaving into various shades of gray inhabited byy the strangest deduction their clients had tried to pull that year.
Listening to them I came to one conclusion ” numbers and clients lie, which is why accountants have so much more fun than we think they do.
About that time a couple bits of arm candy ” trophy wives ” strolled by. The young ladies wore enough bling, jewelry and shiny stuff to be a walking version of the aurora borealis.
We’ll just say they had more moving parts than a Swiss watch.
These guys, being guys and detail-oriented professionals, took notice.
As is often the case when guys are in the presence of non-guy female type persons, they guys began to compete ” only in this case not for the women’s affections, but over accounting questions.
Since these young ladies had obviously availed themselves to all that medical science could do for them, the question arose: “If a professional, exotic dancer procures a medical procedure that enhances her professional prospects, is that a tax-deductible medical expense?
In other words, these guys asked one another, if a stripper gets a boob job is it tax deductible?
One of my CPA buddies, who we’ll call Goldfarb, mentioned an Israeli model who had a breast enhancement and was now seeking another means of support ” this time from tax authorities. Ordering up another beer and charging it to my tab, Goldfarb said lots of models and actresses invest in their external appearance to enhance their prospects for success and continued employment. The Israeli tax authorities were only too happy to visualize the benefits of the model’s investment, so they should be willing to recognize the expenses that made it possible, which it turns out they were not.
Deduction denied in Israel.
Sven the Swedish accountant remembered that a Swedish court said a stripper can’t deduct the cost of her breast implants, which Sven thought was terribly unfair and just another method of oppressing the working class.
“If it can’t happen in Sweden, where can it happen?” Sven asked. “Now, perhaps under President Bush’s new plan…”
Deduction denied in Sweden.
There is lots of wiggle room with medical expenses, says my favorite accountant, who shall remain nameless and is a bleedin’ genius who doesn’t need the aggravation.
Citing a specific example and demonstrating, yet again, why every dime I spend on tax preparation is well invested, my favorite CPA cited an actual example.
It turns out that one of the performers who works nightly with the Glendale Metropolitan Ballet, which is performed nightly in the Cherry Creek Center for the Performing Arts (Shotgun Willie’s in Denver), had exactly that procedure and requested just such a deduction.
The specifics went something like this: “Bambi,” an exotic dancer, decided that to advance in her highly competitive career track, she needed to enhance her physical attributes to about a size 56N, which she did. She claimed a $2,088 tax deduction to offset the costs.
The IRS, a humorless lot, disallowed the deduction, claiming that cosmetic surgery is a personal expense.
The Intergalactic Tax Court is the final word on such matters when you want to appeal an IRS decision. The Tax Court’s final word too the IRS was, “flapdoodle.” The compassionate souls with the Tax Court said the young performer’s medical expenses were incurred to further her business and not for her personal benefit. They said it was just like special work clothes, although no clothes were technically involved. Bless their hearts.
Deduction allowed the the U.S.A., at least in this specific case, which calls for another verse to “America the Beautiful.”
However, said my favorite accountant, it does raise a question:
“Does she get to depreciate them when they start to sag?”
Randy Wyrick insisted to his Reason for Living that he did not enter into this discussion. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. To argue with him e-mail email@example.com.