Write-offs or how to deduct an ostrich
When my husband was alive he always filled out our tax returns. But when he died, it was left up to me to file them.
I approached the task with fear and trepidation and the sense that Big Brother was breathing down my back. I filled in each entry with a shaking hand, wondering if it was correct or not, and envisioning the IRS S.W.A.T. team surrounding my house with guns drawn.
If you are filing your own taxes this year, think about the following and give yourself a moment’s respite with the funny things some creative people found to deduct in filing their tax forms. But don’t try it yourself. Big Brother is smarter than you.
One fine February a tax accountant completed a return for one of the firm’s oldest and most trusted clients and turned it in to his boss.
There followed several whoops of laughter from the partner’s office. It seems the client had accidentally lost his dentures when they fell in the toilet and had claimed them as a tax write-off as an act-of-God casualty loss.
Then there was the man who tried to deduct the cost of his dog food. His reasoning was that the dog was security for his house, therefore the dog food became a security expense.
A CPA in Raleigh, NC recalls a furniture store owner who hired an arsonist to torch his place since his business had gone bad. The insurance company paid off to the tune of $500,000. However, along with taking the deductions for the building, the man also deducted a $10,000 consultant’s fee he paid the arsonist for burning down his store. Both of them went to jail.
Back when the Society of the CPA’s in Louisiana manned a telephone hotline one of the callers stumped them. He wanted to know how to depreciate an ostrich. The answer was: you can depreciate an ostrich if they’re only used for breeding purposes.
And last but not least. A crusty old rancher in Texas asked about the 15 or 20 animals he had listed as breeding stock. “I presume you breed these animals yourself,”the young agent said.
After a sufficient pause, the rancher said. “Nope, I’ve got a bull for that.
Homemade Cinnamon Bread
Rosalee Woolum, one of my readers, has requested a recipe for cinnamon bread to take when she visits her mother. I hope this recipe will help her out.
1 cup Milk
6 tablespoons Butter
2-1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
2 whole Eggs
1/3 cup Sugar
3-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Cinnamon
Egg and Milk, mixed together, for brushing Softened Butter, for smearing and greasing
Melt butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don’t boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Combine flour and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in milk, butter, yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined.
Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes. If dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes.
Heat a metal or glass mixing bowl so it’s warm. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm, hospitable place for at least 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you’re going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal.
Smear loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix a little egg with milk, and smear over the top. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven.
Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool. Slice and serve, or make cinnamon toast or French toast with it.