The United States Tax Court thus opined today in Halby v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2009-204.
Pro se plaintiff William Halby claimed more than $76,000,000 in medical expenses, contending that his purchases of pornographic books and magazines as well as for the “services” of a number of prostitutes constituted medical expenses. In denying the deduction, the Tax Court noted, “Petitioner did not visit these prostitutes as part of a course of therapy prescribed by his doctor, nor did petitioner ask his doctor to prescribe any sort of sex therapy.”
Does the court mean to imply that if a doctor had advised the taxpayer to visit a prostitute, the expense would have been deductible? I hope not. But carrying out that line of thinking, say that prostitution was legal in the taxpayer’s jurisdiction and the taxpayer’s doctor did advise him to visit a prostitute. Then would the expense be deductible as a medical expense? I’m guessing that deduction would be disallowed. After all, there a little blue pill for these sorts of dysfunctional situations, right? Of course, this taxpayer clearly had more than just garden-variety dysfunction.
By the way, Mr. Halby was an attorney.