Former WBNS anchor Anietra Hamper received some unwelcome attention in February as details of her dispute with the IRS were widely circulated, revealing a long list of items that she had questionably listed as business expenses–including thongs, a detail that the Daily News, and many others, pounced on.
Now Hamper, who has been ordered to pay back nearly $20,000 in inappropriate deductions, is trying to set the record straight and make sure that others don’t make the same mistakes she did.
“I would hate for anyone else to go through this,” Hamper recently told The Columbus Dispatch, saying that the deductions were honest mistakes made under the advisement of a tax accountant.
It turns out that much of Hamper’s problems with the IRS came down to the interpretation of the tax law governing work clothes. Work clothes can be deducted as long as they are not “suitable for general wear,” meaning that a person, such as a chef or nurse, can deduct work clothes that would not commonly be worn outside of the workplace.
Hamper’s deductions landed in a gray area since her job as an anchor required her to dress a certain way but the clothes that she purchased, according to the judge in her case, could ultimately be worn outside of work as well.
“If your tax person says you can write it off,” Hamper says, “it still comes down to interpretation.”