You probably know by now that charitable deductions are tax-deductible. But how about the cost of caring for your pet? Or your kid’s clarinet lessons?

In select cases, the IRS has permitted taxpayers to deduct off-beat expenses on their tax returns.

Here’s the key: Those costs must meet certain conditions; they can’t just be personal expenses.

For instance, these costs might be a qualified medical expense or they are an entrepreneur’s “ordinary and necessary” business expense.

“Pets aren’t deductible,” said Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA with TurboTax. “But if there are medical reasons for a service animal, then you can deduct their expenses.”

This tax season is especially notable because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect in 2018. The new law roughly doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for singles ($24,000 for married joint filers), eliminated personal exemptions and limited itemized deductions.

Due to those changes, only about 18 million households will itemize in 2018, down from 46.5 million households in 2017, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

That means it could be harder for filers to claim off-beat itemized deductions on their returns.

Nevertheless, here’s a sample of some deductions filers have sought — and received from the IRS.



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