Message to dancers all over the world: Save all your bills. It may take years, but you might get some of your taxes back.
An Austrian paper, the KURIER, has reported a curious law case. A dancer, who shall remain nameless due the highest court's desire for anonymity to protect the complainant, and was part of the Viennese production of Cats, has fought tooth and nails (or claws, in that case) for some tax reductions.
The case involved such various items as a bike, scales and a fan. These items, the actress argued, she bought in connection with her job as a dancer in the feline stage musical.
She needed the bike for escaping the daily traffic jams between the Theater an der Wien, where she attended a musical school, and the Ronacher-Theater, where Cats was playing.
As she lost about four pounds at each show, scales (price: about US$ 170) were indispensable to control dehydration. And as even cats may break out in a sweat and risk catching the flu -- she could not open a window in her dressing room, she had to buy a fan.
Vienna's revenue officers did not consider these expenses as tax-deductible. So the actress went to court.
Now, some years later (how many you can deduce by the fact that Cats closed at the Ronacher in 1990), Austria's highest court has announced its decision.
The scales (and the fan) were considered as non-deductible. They all come under the term "normal costs of living" and bear no direct connection to the actresses' profession. The same would apply for things like hair-shampoo although the highest court conceded that a dancer's job may be a sweaty one.
But good things come to those who wait (even if is for nearly a decade): The bike - bought at US$ 130 - is partially tax-deductible. And the same goes for trips to the fitness-centre.
So save the right bills and you may start purring again.
- By Bernd Freimueller