Support Marketplace

Teeth and taxes

Scott is a working actor in LA. In 2010, he made about $60K from acting. After shooting a commercial, a client complained that they had to spend thousands of dollars to whiten his teeth during the editing process. They wanted to hire him again, but wanted him to get his teeth whitened. "I had old porcelain veneers on my teeth, which were old and cracked and stained. The only way to whiten them was to replace them, which cost me $30K," he writes.

The client is now his largest single source of income. If he hadn't gotten all that expensive dental work, he would have lost the client. The dental work helped him get even more commercials from other clients. His question: "Is this a legitimate Schedule C expense?

David Lazarus: Darn tootin' it's a business expense. You can deduct it on your taxes. Because I read a lot I know as a fact that strippers can deduct their breast implants as a business expense--and I want to emphasize I know this because I read. For you, having good teeth is a business expense. I would just document that your career took off after your teeth were fixed.

(Edited. You can listen to the complete question and answer here. You'll also learn about David's starring role in the *Bad News Bears *movie. Really.)

David Lazarus

Scott is a working actor in LA, who has used a Schedule C for 30 years. In 2010, he made about $60K from acting. After shooting a commercial, a client complained that they had to spend thousands of dollars to whiten his teeth during the editing process. They wanted to hire him again, but wanted him to get his teeth whitened. "I had old porcelain veneers on my teeth, which were old and cracked and stained. The only way to whiten them was to replace them, which cost me $30K," he writes.

The client is now his largest single source of income. If he hadn't gotten all that expensive dental work, he would have lost the client. The dental work helped him get even more commercials from other clients. His question: "Is this a legitimate Schedule C expense?

Answer: Darn tootin' it's a business expense. You can deduct it on your taxes. Because I read a lot I know as a fact that strippers can deduct their breast implants as a business expense--and I want to emphasize I know this because I read. For you, having good teeth is a business expense. I would just document that your career took off after your teeth were fixed.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...