You Can’t Deduct That!

I’ve been writing about the items you can deduct on your taxes.  Be it medical expenses, charitable contributions, or gambling losses, there are a few options available to reduce your tax bill.  However, there are a few items that are definitely not deductible.  Let’s take a look at a few of them.

The first item is funeral or burial expenses.  Having a loved one pass away can be traumatic, and costly.  However, the tax code does not allow for you to deduct for the costs of paying the last respects to a loved one.

Speaking of traumatic events, my flower girl is getting married.  The little baby I held in my arms and brought great joy to my life is all grown up and is ready to start her life as a married woman.  While I am overjoyed for her, it does break my heart that her expenses of her wedding will not be deductible.  But she is a strong woman, as are her parents.  They can handle it.

In addition, the amount she pays for her and her fiancé’s wedding license is not deductible.  This is also true for car license fees and amounts paid for dog licenses.

If you get a parking ticket, or another type of fine or penalty, you cannot deduct the amount you paid on your taxes.  Of course, if you don’t want to deal with the financial pain of having to pay these fines, don’t commit the infraction.  Additionally, you cannot deduct bribes and kickbacks.  If something is against the law, you cannot deduct it.

We enjoy watching those home improvement shows, and dream of improvements to our modest bungalow.  However, we will not be able to deduct the costs of home improvements.  Something to keep in mind when looking at tile.

Everyone needs to have insurance.  Be it for your home, car or life.  As much of a necessity as insurance is, you cannot deduct its cost, save for medical insurance premiums.  However, don’t let the non-deductibility be the reason you don’t get insurance.

Did you sell your home?  I know in this economy that a large number of homeowners are underwater on their mortgage.  If they sell their home and have a loss, they cannot take a deduction for the loss on the sale of your home.   That may be a reason some of them do not sell, as they hope the housing market will improve enough to get them out of the hole.

Do have a will?  It is a good idea to have one.  Unfortunately, the cost to have an attorney draw up the will is not deductible.  Additionally, any other legal expenses you incur are not deductible.

A few days ago, I wrote about the deductibility of costs of traveling for your job.  As was mentioned in the post, the cost of commuting is not deductible.  This is one I really could use to up my refund, as I am sure it would help you as well.

Have you ever had something you thought you could deduct, but find out you couldn’t deduct it on your tax return?    I’d love to hear about it.  Also, if you have any questions, shoot them to me at, and I would be happy to answer them.  If you need help with other tax questions, or with preparing a return, drop me a line, and we can discuss your situation.

In accordance with Circular 230 Treasury Department Regulations, I am required to advise you that any tax advice contained in this article may not be relied upon to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.  If you are interested in a written opinion that can be relied upon to prevent the imposition of tax-related penalties, please contact the author.

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