As has become custom for the final newsletter of the year we like to end on a lighter note so for this month only, Taxing Matters is replaced by The Strange and Wonderful World of Tax which takes a look at the entertaining side of tax.
India Taxes Working Elephants
Owners of working elephants in India that are used at temples, festivals, parties or other ceremonial occasions are now required to charge a 12.36% service tax when hiring out their elephants.
Lap Dances Not Tax Exempt
The New York state tax department and an appeals court disallowed a New York strip club an exemption from state taxes when the strip club claimed an exemption on the grounds that its nude lap dances were an art form. The state Tax Appeals Tribunal said the club didn’t provide sufficient evidence that it qualified for the exemption.
‘Nutella’ Tax Approved
In an effort to discourage the consumption of oil rich in saturated fats the French Senate approved an amendment that would quadruple the tax of palm oil. This has become known as the Nutella amendment as palm oil is a key ingredient of the spread.
Tax deductions claimed by US Citizens
Carrier pigeons – One US tax payer has such a distrust of technology that he only communicates with his business partner by carrier pigeon. He claims a tax deduction for the pigeons including their care, food and housing costs.
Water – A women who was able to convince her doctor to give her a prescription for three bottles of Evian water every day is able to claim the cost of the water as a tax deductible expense since it was prescribed to her by a doctor (unfortunately this doesn’t apply in New Zealand).
Car Security Dog – A financial adviser is able to claim a tax deduction for his dog used to guard the valuables in his car whilst he is at work. Since his car doesn’t have a security system the tax payer relies on his pet pit bull to protect sensitive information kept in the car while he is travelling for work. The IRS allows deductions for business security systems and thus the tax payer is able to claim a deduction for his pooch.