Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Breast Implant Write-Off? Outrageous Tax Deductions the IRS Has OK'd ... Or Not

Unfortunately, our current tax system is like a big game, with taxpayers looking for every deduction they can find that will help reduce their tax bill.

While you should definitely take advantage of every deduction that you're entitled to, there's also a limit on how far you should push things. And as in any game, some players try to bend the tax rules ... a little too far.

Check out some of these, ahem, "interesting" deductions your fellow taxpayers claimed. The IRS refused some of these, but wait until you see the ones that were actually accepted!

Read on and see if you can guess which outrageous tax deductions Uncle Sam allowed ...

Dairy Cows ... on a Safari?

The owners of a dairy business went on an African Safari and tried to write the cost off as a business expense.

They justified the deduction by saying that many of the dairy's promotional activities and marketing efforts included wild animals.

We're not sure that "wild dairy cows" exist, but guess what?

The IRS agreed that the trip was "ordinary and necessary," and the deduction was allowed.
Looks like these folks really know how to "milk" the system ...

Beer Good, Whiskey Bad...

A gas station owner gave his customers free beer and tried to write it off as a business expense.

Do you think the IRS took kindly to that?

The whole thing ended up in tax court, but the final ruling said the beer was a legitimate expense and deduction.

Interestingly, an Oklahoma businessman tried to deduct several cases of whiskey that he gave to his clients -- as "entertainment." This deduction, however, was flatly denied.

If you think that makes no sense, this next deduction is sure to fire you up ...

Burnin' Down the House...

A Pittsburgh furniture-store owner had tried to sell his business for years, but there weren't any takers.

Frustrated by his lack of success, he hired someone to burn the store down. He collected $500,000 from the insurance company for his misguided effort.

Brazenly, the man went on to deduct the $10,000 that he paid the arsonist as a "consulting fee." An IRS audit two years later ended with both men in prison.

Apparently, the IRS agent who handled the case was hot under the collar about the whole thing. Ba da bum.

silicone breast implant - tax deductionsThanks, Doc! Come by for a Swim Anytime ...

A doctor told his emphysema patient that the sick man needed to start exercising. The patient decided to install a swimming pool at his home, and then he deducted the cost as a "necessary medical expense."

The IRS agreed with the deduction, not only for the pool, but also for the various chemicals, cleaning, heating and upkeep. No word on whether he could write off his suntan lotion.

Did She Tango Her Way Home?

While the IRS looks favorably upon swimming pools, it doesn't look like you'll see the tax man on the dance floor anytime soon.

Despite her thinking that learning how to dance would improve her varicose veins, the government wasn't about to let this taxpayer deduct the cost of her dance lessons. The reason? "Not medically necessary."

The IRS also frowns up dance lessons for the treatment of arthritis or nervous disorders.

No, You Can't Deduct Fido's Babysitting

There are about 75 million household dogs in the U.S. That means millions of pooches are left at home alone each day.

To ease his pup's unhappiness, one taxpayer hired somebody to come to his home and watch his dog while the owner went off to work.

The IRS howled, however, when the taxpayer tried to deduct the cost by using a day-care tax credit intended for children and legal dependents. Pets do not qualify.

Maybe the IRS just prefers cats ...

"Here, Kitty-Kitty-Kitty!"

These junkyard owners had finally had enough of a nasty snake and rat problem, so they cleverly set out bowls of pet food each night to attract wild cats.

The cats not only ate the pet food, they also took care of the junkyard's unwanted guests.
Because the wild cats made the business safer for customers, the pet food was deductible as a business expense.

Sounds like the purr-fect solution!

The Bigger the Better?

Exotic dancer Chesty Love (you can't make this stuff up!) wrote off the expense of having her breasts enlarged. She claimed it was a business expense since a bigger bust-line would equal bigger tips.

The IRS agreed, declaring that her enhanced chest was a stage prop essential to her act. Seriously.

We've had a little fun with this topic, but the truth is that taxes are no joke. This tax season be sure you pay your fair share but not one penny more. Start by making sure you take every single deduction to which you are entitled.

Nationwide, 4.1 million taxpayers missed taking education credits and deductions, and 7.3 million taxpayers missed claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, and it goes on and on.

When you do take them, make sure your tax deductions are airtight. Finally, before you file, be sure you have accounted for these important 2010 tax law changes.

Vimeo App for iPhone Includes Editing Tools

"Video-sharing site Vimeo has finally introduced an official iOS application. The app provides access to Vimeo’s library of online video, but it emphasizes the ability to record, edit and upload your own videos to the service first and foremost. That’s a wise move for a service that has to differentiate itself from clear market leader YouTube, which comes pre-installed on every shipping iOS device....."

Redmatica releases GBSamplerManager for GarageBand iPad

Transfer your GarageBand songs from the iPad using iTunes, then drag the songs to GBSM to manage/edit their Sampler instruments or add new ones. Once you are satisfied, drag your song back to iTunes and transfer to the iPad.

Sampler instruments and samples can be copied between songs or to the desktop, where you can use them in Logic or GarageBand for Mac, or simply build a library. Similarly, you can copy your (EXS) sampler instruments from Logic and GarageBand for Mac to your GB iPad songs. Creating new sounds and adding them to your GarageBand for iPad songs is very easy: drag a sample to GBSM, and it will create a sampler instrument automatically for you. There are literally tens of thousands of commercial and freely available EXS24 sounds available on the internet. Drum loops, vintage analog synths, everything. With GBSamplerManager you can easily use them in your GarageBand iPad projects. And if you want to migrate your hardware and software synth sounds to GarageBand iPad you can purchase the simple one-click AutoSampler application on your Mac to create your own sampled sound library (Autosampler application available separately from Redmatica). The Sampler instruments from GarageBand iPad are compatible with GarageBand for Mac and Logic. With GBSM you just have to select the instruments you want to take to the Mac and drag and drop them to your Mac. GBSamplerManager also includes a basic, intuitive editor for simple (one sample) instruments, so that you can edit them with the full comfort of your large Mac screen. Add loops, set crossfades, set crossfades shape, change the envelope, fine tune your sample in the simplest possible way. For more complex instruments, GBSamplerManager integrates with Keymap Pro and Keymap One (both Redmatica products available separately) order to give you direct access to the most advanced sampled instruments editors available today anywhere. And if you just want to browse your sounds on your Mac, click a button, and GBSM will let you play your instruments from a MIDI controller attached to your Mac. 

GBSM Requires a Mac running OSX 10.6 with 2GB RAM or more.

GBSamplerManager is available now on the Redmatica Online Store at 3.99 Euro / 4.99 USD.

Sebatron VMP-2000e VU Class A Dual Valve Mic Preamp and DI + EQ

The Sebatron Valve Microphone Preamplifier has been designed to bring back that Classic tone to digital recording and multitracking.
The Sebatron VMP series (Valve Microphone Preamplifier) is available in two channel (with or without VU) and four channel formats ... the vmp-2000e , vmp-2000eVU and vmp-4000e.All circuitry is High Voltage Discrete Class A for optimal headroom, wide audio bandwidth and maximum transient response.
The valve Anode Voltage is approximately +300VDC.
Microphone inputs are transformer coupled for an organic 'pleasant to the ear' flavour and all signal gain is provided by the valves..Direct Inputs are available for Bass, Guitar, Keyboards and running line level signals through etc.The two-band switched Passive Equalization network and variable colour control via the Pad switches allow the user to carefully sculpt the signals when dealing with the clinical and lifeless quality of Digital (or otherwise ) recordings.Such is the organic quality and musical colouration of the VMP series circuit that they are often used to run stems (sub mixes) or full mixes through to obtain that characteristic 'Analog glue' that Digital recording systems simply cannot produce.Sebatron preamplifiers are being used everyday by Professional hi end audio studios all around the world.
The VMP Series of preamplifiers from Sebatron is aimed at filling in the gap between ‘transparent’ amplification and ‘coloured’ or character preamplifiers. They can be driven lightly for pure, almost transparent sounds with just an edge of true valve tone or slammed into thick distortion, with a spectrum of colours available in between.
Each VMP channel consists of
* a transformer balanced microphone input for reliability, ease of use and sound quality
* individual phantom power with LED indication
* DI for direct instrument or line input
* passive switchable EQ for the extreme high and low registers - very practical when tracking
* a 12AT7 vacuum tube run at a proper high tension providing all of the active gain
* switchable PAD control which varies negative feedback around the valve, controlling colour
* solid state, discrete Class A output stage, powered by a high voltage rail for superior headroom and transient response
* switchable output phase
* XLR and TRS balanced outputs
All Sebatron products are designed with reliability and long life in mind.
All units are housed in steel chassis’ with quality hardware. Everything is hand built using single sided circuit boards and discrete components for easy servicing. We refused to use integrated circuits because of their lack of character and other limitations they impose on a circuit. It is easy to produce purity from a chip, but it is nigh on impossible to squeeze out soulful tones. A properly tuned valve circuit (i.e. not a starved tube used as an effect) subtly compresses and harmonically enhances the signal in an organic and musical fashion, providing the warmth and punch associated with tape that is missing from purely digital systems. Sebatron VMP preamps have also proven popular as line level devices for adding organic richness to synths, amp simulators, stem mixes or even over a complete mix.

Rascal Audio - Analogue ToneBuss

Tone. It's what Rascal Audio's Analogue ToneBuss is all about. Not bells and whistles -- not a bunch of unwanted features you don't need and won't use. Just large, full, detailed, opulent analogue TONE. The kind you'd expect from a classic, all-discrete recording desk of the early 1970's. The Analogue ToneBuss uses discrete, class-A circuitry with custom wound input and output transformers specifically designed to provide the larger-than life punch and authority of the most coveted vintage signal paths. Additonally, the Analogue ToneBuss supports the instant recall of your DAW by offering minimal, practical facilities, all on logable, rotary switches, so you can use your time for mixing instead of wasting it trying to recall your previous settings. If you'd love your DAW mixes to possess the dynamic richness and spacial definition of those mixed on classic, large-format consoles, then look
no further. Rascal Audio's Analogue ToneBuss delivers with simplicity and elegance.
The Analogue ToneBuss is available in 16-channel and 24-channel models.
Front panel controls include pan switches for channels 1 thru 4 and switchable direct thruputs for channels 5 and 6.
The pan controls, each of which affects a stereo pair of inputs, allow the user the option of panning individual signals, such as kick, snare, bass, and lead vocal, to the center of the mix in the analogue domain yielding much more focus and definition while simultaneously allowing the user to incorporate their favorite mono processors during mixing. The unique channel 5 and 6 direct throughputs give users without a 'proper' patchbay the ability to hardwire a couple of their favorite outboard processors to their D/A outputs. When editing simply switch to the 'DIR' position, process and re-record the audio, and then switch back to 'L' or 'R' when it's time for mixdown.


Elysia Alpha Compressor

"The alpha compressor is a mighty tool for professional dynamics processing. Featuring innovative functions and providing absolutely uncompromising sound quality, it sets new standards for  enhancing any kind of audio material. It offers M/S processing, parallel compression, limiters, as well as sidechain and audio filters, just to name a few....."