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Tax deductions for bingo? One of five strange IRS write-offs.

- Mary Helen MillerCorrespondent

Boston Celtics' Shaquille O'Neal aims for a shot during the Nov. 26, 2010, game against the Toronto Raptors in Boston. Professional athletes may list the cost of their uniforms as deductions on their tax returns. (Winslow Townson / AP / File )

2. Shaq’s jersey

Who doesn’t love the 325 lb. rapping, acting, hoop-shooting tower of glory that is Shaquille O’Neal? You might not see the IRS on the sidelines with chests painted Celtic green, but they’re fans, too – in their own special, fiscally-minded way.

Professional athletes can deduct their uniforms because uniforms fit the requirements of deductible work clothes. Work clothing must meet two conditions to qualify as deductible: It must be worn as a condition of employment, and it must not be a suitable substitute for everyday clothing.

Professional athletes are just one kind of worker who has deductible clothing. Others on the list are: letter carriers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and health-care workers.


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