04/26/2018 12:27 EDT | Updated 04/30/2018 08:21 EDT

The Weirdest Things Canadians Tried To Claim On This Year's Taxes, According To H&R Block

Spoiler: You can't file your taxes with your mistress instead of your wife.

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A man who owns a pornography company tried to claims condoms as a business expense.

If you don't know whether you can claim something on your taxes, it never hurts to try, right?

Tax prep company H&R Block has rounded up some of the strangest things Canadians have tried to claim for the 2018 tax season.

H&R Block senior tax professional Lisa Gittens said the company asked employees for their top 10 weirdest questions and picked the ones that would provide "the most useful advice" to the average Canadian.

Gittens told HuffPost Canada that there is "no such thing as an embarrassing question."

She said tax professionals are obliged to "look at your unique life situation through taxes and find a way to help.

"We don't cover it up, we don't clean it up, but we will tell you legally how to report it."

So if you (still) haven't done your taxes, think of this list as a guide to what will and won't work with Canada Revenue Agency.

Lottery tickets

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A Lotto Max lottery ticket with Encore played.

Gittens said the query about lottery tickets came from a woman who had dutifully purchased them throughout the year. After she ended up winning more money than her husband had made on his actual retirement investments, she wondered if she could and should claim the tickets as a retirement expense.

The answer? No. Lottery tickets are generally a "fun" purchase and not something you can expense, Gittens said. However, if it's a charity lottery, you may be able to claim some of the ticket price as a donation.

But just so it's clear, a lottery ticket is not a legitimate expense or replacement for a retirement plan.


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Like other medical expenses, if your doctor prescribed it, it can be claimed.


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According to H&R Block, a man who owned a pornography company asked if he could claim condoms as a business expense.

From Canada Revenue Agency's point of view, "any business that you are earning money from is taxable income," Gittens said. So in this case, condoms are a legitimate expense.

Gittens said that for this particular case, the company had to show the client how to properly keep track of his expenses.

"Any reasonable expense incurred to earn income is deductible on your taxes. ... As long as (you're) keeping (your) receipts."

Mistress' income

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Since you can file your taxes as a couple, a man wondered if he should file his taxes with his girlfriend, who has an income, or his wife, who has no income.

The answer? Because he is married to his wife, and is not in a common-law marriage with his girlfriend, he must file with his spouse.

Pet food

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No matter how much they actually depend on you, your pets cannot be considered dependents, and therefore you can't claim their food.

Clarification: Although food for animals kept as pets cannot be claimed, people who rely on service animals for certain medical conditions can do so.

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