Deductions you may have never thought of taking―some of them downright creative.

By Real Simple
Updated March 12, 2009
Real Simple April 2004
Credit: Anita Calero

Four Lesser-Known Tax Deductions

  • Weight-loss programs: If your doctor prescribed one, you can add it to your medical deductions.
  • Driving to a volunteer site: Charity work isn't deductible, but the cost of getting there and back is.
  • Stereo equipment: Background music played in home and small-business offices is deductible.
  • Gambling losses: It's OK to write off casino losses if they don't exceed your winnings.

And Three Wacky Ones

  • Comic books: A Ph.D. candidate who was writing a thesis on comic books deducted several thousand dollars' worth of them as a business expense.
  • A neighbor's house: One taxpayer solved a noisy-neighbor problem by buying their home, moving it from the lot, and donating the house to a women's shelter for a charitable deduction.
  • Breast implants: In a bold yet successful claim, an exotic dancer wrote them off as stage props.