Tax write-off's; why being creative isn't a good idea

It's just a few weeks away from the tax filing deadline, and if you haven't by now it might be because you expect you'll be owing the government money.

No one likes to owe money; some people avoid that with write-offs.

Now there are legitimate tax write-off's, and then there are those creative write-off.

Sometimes a bit too creative say tax preparers.

From ski vacations to breast enhancements, to kids that aren't yours, one valley CPA has seen his clients try to take some pretty interesting write-off's over the years.

He shared some of the stories with FOX 10, and they might just help you avoid an unwanted visit from the IRS.

In the 20 years that Sean Core has been preparing taxes, he's seen the usual write-off's, and a few that raise an eyebrow.

"They want to see what they can get away with," said Sean Core.

First there are business write-off's gone wrong. What one client claimed was a work trip to scout property, was actually the family's pricey winter get away.

"You see ski tickets, lift tickets, where they've gone skiing up in Jackson Hole or someplace like that, I'm not talking going up to just Sunrise or Snowbowl," he said.

And that new party boat? Good luck proving you need it for work.

"Somebody wanted me to write off a $250,000 boat that they kept at Lake Pleasant, I said what's the rational behind it, he said I take all my clients out, and use it for meals and entertainment," said Core.

Claiming dependants is another dicey area; Sean says many have even tried to write off Fido, or claim kids who aren't their own.

"Somebody came in and they did have somebody they wanted to claim, and they gave me a social security number, and come to find out it wasn't a legitimate social security number because it started with a nine," he said.

But what if your job requires certain assets? Can ladies write off their time on the plastic surgeon's table?

"There is one court case where it was allowed. It was necessary for work, but for the most part they're not allowable," said Core.

If you do choose to push the envelope, the IRS will likely disallow it. That write-off will go back into your income, and you'll still have to pay.

"They can roll the dice, but they're not going to roll the dice with me," he said. 
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