Depending on which state you call home, you could be taxed for the weirdest reasons. In Maryland, for example, you’re taxed for flushing your toilet, while if you brand yourself with tattoos in Arkansas, you’ll have to pay up.
Turns out there’s a rational explanation for (some of) these crazy taxes. Maryland is trying to raise money to protect the Chesapeake Bay, while Maine – which produces 99 percent of the wild blueberries in the U.S. – wants to fund research to keep itself competitive among other states and Canadian provinces that produce berries.
There are also, however, a host of odd deductions permitted by the Internal Revenue Service, such as professional body builders deducting the cost of the body oil they use for competitions. That might make sense – except the same body builders can’t deduct the vitamin shakes they drink, the buffalo meat they consume or the wheatgrass shots they take.
If there’s a tax or deduction you’re unsure about because it sounds too wild and crazy to be true, best thing to do is to reach out to your tax preparer, your state’s department of taxation or your local IRS office to seek an explanation.