Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Notes From the Homefront, Lauren #2: Damage caused by sonic booms may be deductible

As I (Lauren) continue my time at Fort Belvoir's Legal Assistance Office, I have been tasked to run to Tax Center this year. The tax center provides free income tax return preparation for Active Duty Soldiers, their dependents and retirees. Its been a frustrating process trying to pull everything together, but with opening day (complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony. . . and cake!) on Monday, I think we may actually be ready.

I've been to two weeks of tax training and am now an official IRS VITA/TCE site certified tax preparer. (I have a certificate to prove it.) Through all of this, I've discovered the more ridiculous side of tax law, the minutiae laws regarding every aspect of life (according to the IRS.) While I do not offer any of the below as tax advice, I do want to share some of my favorite tax rules and regulations with you.

You may choose to have your IRA invest in collectibles - including alcoholic beverages.

Reported income must include any back pay and damages received for emotional distress received to satisfy a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Damage or destruction of trees, shrubs or other plants by a fungus, disease, insects, worms or similar pests is not deductible. However, sudden destruction due to unexpected or unusual infestation of beetles may be a deductible casualty loss.

Guide dogs are a deductible medical expense.

Losses due to blackmail or ransom payments may be deductible.

If you receive a bribe, you must report that income.

If you won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize (or similar award) and meet the following criteria, you do not need to include the winnings in your income. 1) You were selected without any action on your part to enter the running for the award, 2) you are not required to complete any future services, and 3) the prize is transferred directly from the payer to the government unit or a charity as designated by you.

Income from the Northern Mariana Islands may be subject to US Federal tax.

Damage caused by sonic booms may be deductible.

Wristwatches are never a deductible expense, even if you need to know the correct time for your job.


Adam said...

I'm glad to see the US government is delivering on our cumulative best interests. I look forward to eight years of convoluted liberal legislation. YEAH!!!

Exnicios said...

I think what you meant to say was we can look forward to 8 years of "hopeful" convoluted liberal legislation, or "ready from day 1" convoluted liberal legislation...

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