I love reading tax cases that are quirky, a little bit out of the ordinary, that seem as if they never should have been litigated. I just came across one from 1963, Daniels v. Comm., 41 TC 324. The decision on deductibility is particularly appropriate for this time of year, as the filing deadline approaches, and one or two of your clients might be wondering why a particular expense can't be deducted.The tax year in question was 1960, when Fred Daniels and his wife Eleanor resided at 190 Salisbury Street in Worcester, Mass., and had a fallout shelter constructed. It measured 40 feet long by 10 feet wide and had 30-inch thick granite and cinder block walls, and a reinforced concrete roof approximately eight inches thick. The shelter had heating and electricity, and water could be brought in from an artesian well.

The couple, in their seventies, submitted a letter from their doctor recommending that they build a fallout shelter, and pointing out that in case of disaster or the advance of nuclear fallout toward New England, the couple's shelter would reduce anxiety which otherwise would affect Fred's heart and hypertension condition.

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