Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I couldn’t resist commenting on this recent post to a tax blog.

Babyboomer11852 discusses a client who was a “professional exotic dancer” in the post “
To Strip or Not to Strip!” at TAX RESOLUTIONARIES.

When it came to deductions the client brought up her “$12,000 breast augmentation”. Boomer concluded “But the breast augmentation could not be deducted as this was considered cosmetic surgery”.

It ain’t necessarily so, Boomer! While I agree that breast augmentation cannot be deducted as a medical expense because it is elective cosmetic surgery (unless it involved a severe psychological difficulty), there is a Tax Court precedent here that involves the client’s specific “industry”.

The article “
10 Craziest Tax Deductions” from AOL Money and Finance reports-

To get more tips, a stripper with the stage name ‘Chesty Love’ decided to get breast implants to make her a size 56-FF. A tax court judge allowed Chesty to write off the cost of her operation, equating her new, um, assets to a stage prop.”

This deduction has also been referenced in many other online and print articles and columns about “weird” tax deductions.

The Tax Court in this case stated that in order to be deductible as a business expense the size of the breast implants must be large enough that no girl would ordinarily get them for purely cosmetic reasons, the girl must work in a business where larger breasts would have a positive effect on income (i.e. dancer, actress, model, even waitress), and the breast implants were large enough in comparison to the girl's physique that they would pose more of a "burden" than a "benefit" in real life (i.e. big enough that guys spot them instantly from across the street).

So, as with just about any other tax deduction, “facts and circumstances” are important. I doubt that a girl going from 34B to 38C would qualify. Although if one could show that the surgery was directly related to the “enlargee’s” business as a dancer, actress, model or waitress (?–Hooter’s perhaps) and that it did indeed result in increased bookings and increased income it might be worth a try.

Over the years I have “done” (the tax returns for) a couple of “professional exotic dancers” (you might say a “handful” of dancers), among the few who actually declare their income. (I vividly remember a day during a tax season back when I had an office in Union when included in the day’s mail was an envelope with the tax “stuff” of a “go-go dancer” from New York, which included a copy of her recent pictorial in a Playboy publication, and an envelope with the tax “stuff” of an ordained Lutheran minister from Massachusetts.) But, alas, I never claimed a tax deduction for breast implants for any of my clients.


No comments: