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Former Columbus Anchor Lands in Tax Court Over Dubious Job-Related Expenses

Anchor Anietra Hamper, who had worked in the Columbus market for over a decade before departing WBNS last year, landed in tax court this month after reporting $167,356 in job-related expenses, including jewelry, teeth whitening, manicures, makeup, and lingerie.

According to the court ruling:

[Hamper] alleges that she acted in good faith and with reasonable cause in deducting her business expenses because the tax law says that all business expenses that are ordinary and necessary are deductible and that her deductions are specific to the job she performs as a news anchor.

Hamper worked at NBC-affiliate WCMH from 1999 to 2008, before leaving the station and eventually joining crosstown rival WBNS.  The expenses examined in court were reported between 2005 and 2008, during which time Hamper anchored WCMH’s morning and noon newscasts.

In addition to items that helped Hamper maintain her appearance, she also reported costs associated with self-defense classes, which local police allegedly advised her to take since she could be vulnerable to stalking. Hamper did not provide sufficient proof to the court that these classes were attended.

Ultimately the court decided that, although the expenses may have been related to Hamper’s job, they were “inherently personal” and nondeductible.

Hamper left WBNS in late 2010 amid changes to the station’s daytime newscasts. On January 3rd, the CBS-affiliate debuted a new, expanded morning newscast and Hamper and Chuck Strickler, her co-anchor, were replaced by weekend anchors Angela An and Jeff Hogan.

Here’s Hamper in an old promo for WBNS’s morning newscast:

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