Welcome to the 8th edition of the Totally Money Blog Carnival! Everywhere you turn in the personal finance blogosphere, taxes are one of the hottest topics (I have one coming up today as well). So I decided to combine taxes with some humor for Monday morning. I have included some outrageous tax deductions claimed by people. Hope you enjoy this edition!
Burning down the house : A furniture store owner, after many failed attempts to sell his store, hired an arsonist to burn down the store. He collected $500,000 and paid the arsonist $10000. A year later, he claimed the $10000 he paid to the arsonist as a “consulting fee” in his tax return! No, it didn’t work. Both of them are in jail.
- Jason Price presents Mint iPhone App Review posted at One Money Design. saying “After my review, I think the Mint iPhone app is an excellent companion to Mint.com, the popular free personal finance software program. Check out the reasons why in this post.”
- Miss T presents 5 Ways to Trim Your Budget For Your Child’s College Fund | Prairie EcoThrifter.com posted at Prairie Eco-Thrifter saying “By using a little bit of effort you can increase your monthly savings and turn them into a college fund for your child” ** EDITOR’S PICK***
Cat Food : A junkyard owner, tired of rats and snakes, set out bowls of cat food to attract wild cats. The cats were happy, stayed and kept the place free of rats, making the place more pleasant for customers. They deducted the cat food as a business expense and it was allowed.
- Robert Alan presents Impact of APR’s On Your Personal Financial Success posted at Credit Card Assist saying “A brief discussion on the big impact that APR’s can have on your overall personal financial life”
- Tim Chen presents Considering a Medical Credit Card? Proceed with Caution posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch saying “Originally used for elective surgeries like liposuction, medical credit cards are increasingly used by those with limited or no health insurance to pay doctors, dentists, chiropractors and even veterinarians.”
- Miriam presents Credit Card Series: Your Credit Score posted at Budgets and Bargains saying “If you envision yourself ever purchasing a house, a car, renting a new apartment or getting your kid braces you should be aware that these are all instances in which your credit score may be checked. There are many others as well. Therefore it is really important to understand how your credit score is affected by the decisions you make and how you can improve it.”
- Charles presents Prepaid Credit Card Secrets posted at Credit Tips saying “Prepaid credit cards offer financial freedom and a safer alternative to carrying cash”
Dairy cows on a wild African safari : A group of dairy farm owners went on an African safari and tried to claim their expenses saying that many of the dairy’s promotional activities and advertising included wild animals. Don’t know what they learned on a wild safari, but the IRS allowed the expenses as ordinary and necessary.
- Khaleef @ KNS Financial presents Poverty Stricken Detroit Raises Money For A Robocop Statue? posted at Faithful With A Few saying “Detroit raised money for a Robocop statue recently. In light of the intense poverty in that city, is this a picture financial irresponsibility?”
Free beer : A gas station owner gave free beer to his customers, don’t know if he thought drunk customers would fill up more than needed. Anyway, he claimed that as a business expense and it ended up in tax courts. The ruling was – yes it was allowed!
- Barb Friedberg presents WHY YOU MUST START SAVING NOW! posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance saying “Learn how starting saving and investing early makes all the difference in your ultimate wealth”
- Control your Cash presents Us 1, American Express 0 | Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense posted at Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense saying “A helpful rule in your economic life is to think about every transaction from the other party’s perspective. In this case, look at the handsome annuity that your credit card balance becomes in the eyes of the card issuer.”
- FIRE Finance presents How to Turn $5000 into $22 million? Lessons From One Successful Individual Investor posted at FIRE Finance saying “We can learn some basic tenets of investing from Anne Scheiber, who was an auditor at IRS and went on to become a multi-millionaire” ** EDITOR’S PICK***
- Mike Piper presents Does Asset Allocation Matter? posted at Oblivious Investor saying “Asset allocation is an important part of investment success. But there are several other factors that play just as big of a role”
- MoneyCone presents Did You Beat The Market, Mr. Investor? posted at Money Cone saying “HOWTO on finding out the annualized rate of return of your investments”
Mink coat : A man tried to deduct his wife’s mink coat by justifying that the mink coat was a conversation piece when visiting clients with his wife. Don’t know what they would discuss and why his wife was with him when he visited clients, but the IRS rejected the claim.
- Buck Inspire presents Brake Job Or Brake Scam? posted at Buck Inspire.
- Jason presents 5 Reasons Why I Splurge On Travel posted at Live Real, Now. saying “Some things are worth spending money”
Breast augmentation : This is an infamous story. A stripper going by the name Chesty Love used her savings to umm… improve her assets to bring it up to 56FF in an effort to get more tips. She wrote the expenses off in her return and it was allowed!!! Sorry no pics
- vh presents Annual Windfall Arrives posted at Funny about Money saying “Whether to invest the $4500 RASL payment from the state, or to use it to defer the need to draw down from retirement savings?”
- PT presents How to Encourage Your Spouse to Save Money posted at PT Money saying “Some great relationship advice on how to encourage a spendthrift spouse to be more frugal” ** EDITOR’S PICK***
- 2 Cents presents Passive Investing: Mixed Feelings posted at Balance Junkie saying “There are some very positive aspects to passive investing, but a few things will keep me from using it as our exclusive investing method”
- Boomer presents How To Get The Most Out Of Your Savings posted at Boomer & Echo saying “You need to spend some time figuring out effective ways to get the most out of your savings. Here is a “back-to-basics” primer”
- Tisha Tolar presents 6 Steps for Managing Family Finances When Money Gets Tight posted at Parenting Squad saying “If families were to really sit and look at their numbers together, there is a good chance more money could be found and reasonable changes made to the family budget for families to get ahead. Here are some reminders for family budgeting that never get old and can help stretch even the tightest incomes.” ** EDITOR’S PICK***
- JT McGee presents Rethinking “Teach a Man to Fish” posted at MoneyMamba saying “It used to be that “give a man a fish” meant he’d eat only for one day while “teaching a man to fish” was good enough to ensure his long-term success. I say that “teaching a man to fish” isn’t good enough any more, we need to “give a man a fridge.””
- Alex presents What is Personal Financial Planning? posted at Personal Financial Planning, Money Management, and Investment Review
- Charles Chua C K presents 12 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Expenses posted at All About Living with Life.
Trip to Bermuda : Any business convention held in Bermuda can be written off without even showing there was a special reason to hold your business meeting in an exotic location. Bermuda is not the only place, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Costa Rica or St. Lucia or any US possession would qualify.
- Kevin McKee presents Force Yourself to Save posted at Thousandaire saying “Do you want to save money, but you have a hard time putting money away and keeping it there. Here are 5 great ways to force yourself to save money,”
- Tim Fraticelli presents Should You Have Multiple Emergency Funds? posted at Faith and Finance saying “An open discusson on the benefits of creating different emergency funds. I hate tapping into my primary emergency fund for less important items, so having smaller e-funds made sense to us. It’s really about planning ahead and smaller funds can help.”
- Dave@50plusfinance presents How Do I Motivate My Son to Save Money? posted at 50 Plus Finance saying “In life I believe most people are not born savers. So take this into account when your trying to help someone change direction. I was a spender for most of my life and did not change direction until I was forced to, out of necessity.”
Trip to Super Bowl : A trip to Bermuda might not need justification, but a “business” trip to the Super Bowl would. A couple arranged a trip to see the super bowl along with their business partners and their wives. They tried to deduct that as a business expense. The IRS didn’t buy that and claimed they “can’t have discussed anything business related”.
- Crystal presents Spending – Hiding Spending and Secret Spending posted at Budgeting In the Fun Stuff saying “I wouldn’t be able to be happy if I was hiding my spending from my significant other like some of the people mentioned here…. “
- Robert @ The College Investor presents My Awful Best Buy Customer Service Experience posted at The College Investor saying “A look at my horrible customer service experience!”
- Money Crashers Blog presents List of 14 Commonly Overlooked Personal Tax Deductions For Individuals posted at Money Crashers saying “The only thing worse than paying taxes, is paying more than you have to. With this year’s tax filing deadline coming up, make sure you’re getting every penny you deserve by checking if you’re eligible for these 14 little-known tax deductions. “
- Jim Yih presents Marginal Tax vs Average Tax posted at Retire Happy Blog saying ” Marginal tax is simply the amount of tax paid on an additional dollar of income. As income rises, so does the tax rate. This is different than a flat tax rate where you pay the same rate of tax no matter what your income level is. “
- Ryan @ MFN presents IRS Refund Schedule posted at The Military Wallet saying “Each year the IRS releases a refund schedule for those who use e-file to file their taxes with the IRS. This makes it easy to know when you will receive your tax refund”
- Outlaw presents 5 Famous Tax Evasion Cases posted at Outlaw Finance saying “With tax season in full swing, it makes sense to ensure you’re staying on the positive side of the IRS. See these cautionary tales about evading taxes.”
- Madison DuPaix presents IRS Form W9 posted at My Dollar Plan saying “Find out how to fill out a W9 form here.”
Private Jet to check on their condo : Rather than drive five to seven hours to check on their rental condo or be tied to the only daily commercial flight available, a couple bought their own plane. The Tax Court allowed them to deduct their condo-related trips on the aircraft, including the cost of fuel and depreciation for the portion of time used for business-related purposes, even though these costs increased their overall rental loss.
- Flexo presents 9 Ideas for Spring Break posted at Consumerism Commentary saying ” Spring Break is fast approaching and we have a few ideas to maximize your fun without breaking the bank. “
Pets are not dependents : A man felt his dog was lonely during the day, so he hired someone to give his Fido some company, while he was off at work. Everything was fine until he tried to deduct “day care” expenses as part of the dependent care credit. No, IRS didn’t allow that.
- Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog presents Resources to help keep your personal and professional financing on track posted at Canadian Finance Blog saying “There are a number of programs and agencies out there to help you make important financial decisions, you just need to know how to find them”
- Money Beagle presents One Benefit Is Still Awesome (For Now) posted at Money Beagle.
- The Amateur Financier presents Should You Be a Tiger Mother (or Father)? posted at The Amateur Financier saying “A guide to the Tiger Mother controversy, and a discussion on how to best raise your child to be intelligent, productive, resourceful and happy”
Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Totally Money Blog Carnival! The next edition will be hosted by My Personal Finance Journey, don’t forget to submit your entries.