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5 Unexpected Tax Deductions

Tax time gets closer with each passing day. Not surprisingly, there's all kinds of tax advice floating around on the Web. I recently ran across a slew of unexpected tax deductions on The Street, and some of these were so interesting I simply had to pass them along.

Write off your vasectomy. That's right, a vasectomy is an allowable medical expense. Even more curious, though, is the fact that you can also deduct a reverse vasectomy. The details are on the IRS Web site.

Lose some weight. Like the vasectomy, weight loss can be a qualified tax deduction. The caveat, of course, is that there needs to be a medical justification and the weight loss should be a "treatment for a specific disease." Apparently, though, obesity qualifies as such a disease.

Get a swimming pool. Medical writer-offs are a seemingly unending resource for creative tax mitigations. If you have a medical condition for which a pool is a valid treatment -- and you have a doctor willing to testify to that -- then your pool might be a deductible expense.

Donate to specific foreign charities. If course, charitable contributions are among the most popular and common ways to reduce your tax burden. As a general rule, you can only claim contribution to US charities, but there are exceptions for qualified charities in Canada, Mexico, and Israel.

Buy dog food. This is perhaps the most surprising deduction I saw -- food for Spot. There are two ways to deduct Puppy Chow. You need to have a service dog or a guard dog for your business. Keep in mind that the dog itself isn't a qualified deduction, but training and feeding it might be.

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