Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jerry Springer & Chesty Love Discuss Tax Court Decision Allowing Depreciation of Her Breast Implants

Ann Murphy (Gonzaga) passed along this celebrity tax tip:  Jerry Springer and exotic dancer Chesty Love discussing the Tax Court's decision allowing her to depreciate the cost of her silicone breast implants in Hess v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ. Op. 1994-79 (May 4, 1994).  From the opinion (citations omitted):

At the urging of her agent, in 1988, petitioner underwent multiple medical procedures to replace and to substantially enlarge her implants, and which finally ex-panded her bust size to an abnormally large size (56FF). The implants were so large that they each weighed approximately 10 pounds. During 1988, she was reintroduced into the market under the stage name of "Chesty Love". At that time her fees almost doubled. ...

In addition to medical problems, petitioner and her husband were subjected to considerable humiliation because of the size of her breasts. Petitioner was ridiculed by people on the street, her husband suffered off-color comments and insults, and she was ostracized by most of her family. Consequently, when her career as a professional exotic dancer is over, petitioner plans to have the implants permanently removed. ...

Petitioner has shown that her implant surgery was "incurred solely in the furtherance of the business engaged in" and "incurred in producing revenues to the business". The sole reason she enlarged her breasts to such a horrendous size was to increase her success (and concomitantly her income) as a professional exotic dancer. In this endeavor petitioner has succeeded, inasmuch as her fees have increased substantially since her implant surgery. ...

Petitioner's expenditures for implants can be analogized to clothing expenditures which, as a general rule, are not deductible as a business expense even when specific types of clothing are a necessary condition of the business or employment. However, there is a recognized exception to this rule when: (1) The clothing is required and essential in the taxpayer's business or employment; (2) the clothing is not suitable for general or personal wear; and (3) is not so worn. ...

Petitioner's line of business, that of a professional exotic dancer, was such that part of her "costume" was her freakishly large breasts. Her implants clearly satisfy the first two criteria. ...  As to the third, petitioner has proven that if she could remove her implants on a daily basis she would have done so as she preferred not to have "worn" them in her offstage personal life. However, this was physically impossible.

Because petitioner's implants were so extraordinarily large, we find that they were useful only in her business. Accordingly, we hold that the cost of petitioner's implant surgery is depreciable.

Celebrity Tax Lore, Tax | Permalink

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sorry - I got nothing on this one

Posted by: mark | Dec 9, 2009 5:01:17 AM