THE PENTAGON — Military tax centers across the nation, already battling staff cuts due to sequestration spending reductions, are now seeing an unprecedented surge in demand after the IRS ruled alcohol a deductible, work-related expense for members of the Armed Forces, Duffel Blog has learned.
“I have no idea how word spread so quickly,” said Pfc. Martin Ayers, a tax preparer at Joint-Base Lewis McChord, Washington.
Over the din of hundreds of shouting military personnel and family members, the soldier explained to Duffel Blog that the loophole had always been on the books, but most people were unaware of it.
“It's way in the back of IRS pub 535, but no one usually reads that far," Ayers said. "Suddenly, about a month ago some smartass decided to post about it online, and the rest was history. We’ve had to extend our hours twice to keep up with the demand.”
Other tax preparers across the nation shared similar stories.
“When the first guy came in with $5,600.00 in alcohol related expenses to write off I laughed in his face,” said Sgt. 1st Class Melissa Bodin, a tax preparer at Ft. McNair in Washington.
“At first I thought it was just another idiot soldier trying to con the system, like when I had a guy say he was a first time homebuyer because he split the rent in his off-post apartment with four other guys," Bodin continued. "But when I actually looked it up, sure enough there it was. How in god’s name does someone drink that much? I mean un-reimbursed business expenses need to exceed 2% of your income to even get the tax write-off.”
Then she paused and reconsidered. “Actually, come to think of it, it would be pretty easy to drink 2% of an E-4’s pay. Damn.”
Tech Sgt. Felix Hernandez, a tax volunteer at Langley AFB Virginia, said he was just as surprised to hear about the write-off.
“One time I had a guy try and write off his statement of charges for the pair of NVGs he lost while in the field," Hernandez said. "I guess it makes sense someone would try alcohol. I just can’t believe it worked.”
At press time, IRS officials released a statement saying that the regulation would be eliminated by next tax season, and that they apologized for the six suicides, three workplace shootings, and thousands of man-hours lost because of the oversight. Additionally, they reiterated that tips to strippers, rent for your mistress’ apartment, illegal drugs, and tap-out gear are still not deductible items.