7 unusual tax deductions

Captains of whaling boats are entitled to a hefty — but little-known — deduction.

Certified Public Accountant Lisa Greene-Lewis notes that whaling captains can deduct the cost of purchasing and maintaining whaling vessels, weapons and other gear used for sanctioned whaling activities up to $10,000. The deduction was introduced in 2004 as part of the American Jobs Creation Act.

"The deduction is interesting, because it is deductible as a charitable contribution instead of a business expense," she says.

With the exception of captains recognized by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, whaling in the U.S. is illegal, which means this deduction isn't used often (and would be outright denied if a non-AEWC-sanctioned captain tried to claim it).