As I file my taxes, it seems to me that I should have gotten deductions for a lot of things not covered. Sure, my tax program walked me through questions like, “Did you donate an organ last year?” or “Did you donate any fine art?” or “Did you die last year?” because apparently those are all tax-deductible scenarios. However, I still have all my original parts, I do not own any Renoirs (and if I did I’d sell them for cash not donate them—more money for Uncle Sam), and I seem to still be alive.
It occurs to me there are many situations that should invoke a tax deduction, but don’t. I’ve made a list of suggested new tax deductions:
- Tax deduction for voting. In 2012, only about 55% of voting age population turned out to vote. If you can prove you voted in the last election, you should get a deduction for doing your civic duty.
- Tax deduction for putting up with annoying coworkers and not strangling anybody, with an additional bonus deduction if you don’t require any medication to do so. (Fewer health insurance claims save everyone money, including Uncle Sam.)
- Tax deduction for paying for health insurance you don’t use. If I’m required to have health insurance I don’t need, I should get a deduction if I save everyone money and don’t get sick, right? If more people took care of themselves and didn’t require as much health care, everyone’s costs would be lower, including the government’s. If my only doctor visit all year is a routine yearly exam, I should get a deduction.
- Tax deduction for hanging on to all your business receipts throughout the year and remembering where they are come tax time. This is a real pain in the ass, and requires a deduction.
- Tax deduction for being unfairly fired and denied unemployment because your employer lied. This has happened to people I know.
- Tax deduction for the time you spend doing your taxes. Enough said.
- Tax deduction for every time an elected official from your state gets caught lying or breaks a campaign promise, regardless of his or her excuse. EVERYONE who can prove they voted would benefit from this deduction.
- Tax deduction for people with college degrees who are underemployed. The government in my state spends a fortune on ads to encourage kids to go to college. Did you ever see the one where the same guy is either working behind a store counter or buying an expensive computer in the same store? It claims a college education “may mean the difference between doing what you want to do and doing what you have to do.” So if you spend a fortune on a college degree and still have to work in a crappy retail job (like most of the people I graduated with), there should damn well be a tax deduction for that.
What new tax deductions would you like to see?