A recent news report serves as an example of the many potential deductions taxpayers may benefit from under the tax code, although it's always best to consult with a skilled professional before claiming things that may raise red flags.

A recent article from Kiplinger's cited a variety of unusual tax deductions that had been allowed by the IRS because they pertained to business expenses or other deductible areas, such as medical expenses.

For example, the financial news Web site noted that one couple had been allowed to write off the cost of cat food because they relied on feral cats to keep their junkyard free of rats and snakes. Other unusual business deductions were said to be body oil for a professional bodybuilder and a deduction for the free beer a service station owner offered his customers in a promotion.

When it comes to moving expenses, which are generally deductible when accepting a new job, another family wrote off the cost of moving their pet.

While it's never a good idea to get too creative with deductions because of the red flags they could raise with the IRS, it's perfectly legitimate for consumers and their tax preparers to be thorough in their examination of the tax code for every opportunity they may have to lower their overall burden.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.