Anietra Hamper, the Columbus, Ohio anchoress who tried to deduct her underthings as business expenses, has no regrets. The Columbus Dispatch reports:
Other TV anchors told her they did it, and professionals who prepared her taxes over the years told her it was fine. She kept her business clothes in a separate room at home and recorded costs and kept receipts. When a 2009 IRS letter asked for documentation of her 2005 expenses, she sent it off.
“I knew I had followed their guidelines,” she said.
That’s why you don’t hire TV news anchors to do your tax returns. This case never had a prayer.
Even the Internal Revenue Service acknowledged that former television news anchor Anietra Hamper kept meticulous records of the clothes and other items she bought for business use.
But detailed receipts weren’t enough.
She’s not the first person to learn that meticulous receipts don’t necessarily make the expenses deductible.
Her tax preparer, a Mr. Lykins, feels she got a raw deal:
“Anietra felt, as well as I felt, that the clothing she purchased would be an ordinary, necessary job expense,” he said. “The tax code says you can deduct all expenses ordinary and necessary to maintain your income.”
But, Lykins said, what can and cannot be deducted is a gray area when it comes to business expenses.
Not so gray at all. A TV person can’t deduct her suits, any more than I could deduct the suits I had to wear early in my accounting career.
Ms. Hamper feels she fought the good fight, and has paid a price for doing so: