7 unusual tax deductions

Most taxpayers know they can take a tax deduction for things like mortgage interest, child care, retirement contributions and charitable donations.

In fact, 45 million taxpayers itemized tax returns in 2009, claiming $1.2 trillion in tax deductions, according to the latest numbers available from TurboTax.

When you’re filling out your 2012 tax returns, don’t limit your search for possible deductions to run-of-the-mill expenses. There are plenty of lesser known — and downright odd — tax deductions.

Only a few taxpayers out of hundreds of millions will be eligible for some of these deductions, but others could be far more common — if only people knew about them.

Before taking one of these seven offbeat tax deductions, be warned:

"In order for a taxpayer to win in tax court, they have to prove that their crazy, unusual tax deduction actually falls under a specific tax law," says Lisa Greene-Lewis, lead CPA at the American Tax and Financial Center at TurboTax.