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Botox and guard dogs: Minnesotans get creative at tax time

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A state association of accounts says Minnesotans hatch some pretty creative schemes to get out of paying taxes, the Star Tribune reports.

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants in a new report says that the creative ploys include a ballerina trying to claim the cost of tummy tuck, a farmer attempting to claim food and veterinary expenses his “guard dog” (a toy poodle), and a Minnesotan calling the cost of a swimming pool a medical expense.

Others: One woman tried to deduct Botox injection costs as an “image enhancement” expense, and another woman wanted to claim her gambling losses as a charity donation.

“Creativity is rewarded in many parts of society, but not by the IRS,” MNCPA Chairwoman Barbara Steinhauser said.

The IRS has estimated that Americans underpay – or just plain don't pay – more than $300 billion in taxes every year, a figure known as the tax gap.

How Stuff Works has 10 creative – and legal – tax deductions.

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