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Local News Anchor Faces IRS Scrutiny For Deducting Gym Memberships And Thongs

Is looking good simply part of the job when you’re a news anchor? That’s the stance one former Columbus-area anchor is taking. Anietra Hamper, who has worked at WCMH and WBNS, told the IRS that she claimed deductions on items such as clothing, teeth whitening, a gym membership and… well. And thong underwear.

In total, Hamper spent about $167,356 in purchases related to keeping fit and stylish between the years 2005 and 2008. Additionally, she attempted to deduct a self-defense class, claiming she needed them to fend off a stalker – presumably a hazard of enjoying a relatively public, high-profile job position.

Hamper’s argument is that the purchases were a career necessity and a means of maintaining “a neat, professional, and conservative appearance, and as a part of her community appearances.” Her deductions were eventually denied last week, but the case brings up an interesting point: If part of being a television newscaster or other such media personality is, arguably, looking in such a way that would attract and sustain viewers, wouldn’t beauty-related products constitute a job expense?

Granted, Hamper may have damaged her case by trying to write off, say, bedding and thong underwear (VPL is downright debilitating sure, but not something anchors have to deal with, given they’re usually sitting behind a desk), but it isn’t too far-fetched to think that a certain cap on money spent on hair appointments or teeth whitening sessions could be understandable. What say you?

h/t NY Daily News

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