Amusing tax cases: Bodybuilder’s claim

9 Jan

I know you can be tired of all the serious subjects related to taxes so today I would like write about one of the very funny tax cases.

Corey L. Wheir was a professional bodybuilder.  His income came from posing, seminars, publication of his poses, and training bodybuilders. Wheir reported the income and expenses of his bodybuilding activity as a trade or business on Schedules C of his Federal income tax returns.

IRS disallowed deductions of his expenses for supplements. Included in the disallowed deductions labeled as “Supplements” were the costs of buffalo meat, vitamin shake drinks for energy and body enhancing effects, and various skin or body applications to enhance Wheir’s physical appearance as a competitive bodybuilder.

The Court held that petitioner’s expenses for buffalo meat and shake drinks were inherently personal thus not deductible. Nevertheless, the cost of the products that were applied to the body to enhance his appearance was allowed as a deduction.

The amusing part of this case is that Mr. Wheir consumed 3 pounds of buffalo meat daily, year round. His lunch bag must have looked quite impressive! He testified that if he consumed beef, which is less expensive than buffalo, he would have had to consume 6 pounds of beef per day to have the same effects. Clearly, consuming over 1,000 pounds of buffalo in a year is not a personal pleasure, yet the Court did not consider it a valid expense.

On the other hand, the products used to enhance Wheir’s appearance were determined to be fully deductible. These products included professional posing oil that was applied “prior to pumping up backstage for optimum effects”, another product applied to the body 5 minutes before a workout, still another product – massaged over the body several hours before a posing to provide a suntan brown color or a deep tan to the body.

Credit image


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