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The world's strangest tax breaks

Here in the United States, we like to think we're special. But we've got nothing on the rest of the world when it comes to unusual tax laws.

With the U.S. tax-filing deadline bearing down, Foreign Policy magazine took a look at some of the world's weirdest tax breaks.

My favorite is The Netherlands tax deduction for a course on witchcraft:

Margarita Rongen, the headmistress of Heksehoeve (Dutch for "witch farmhouse"), offers a yearlong curriculum in spell-casting, herbology, potions, and divination, among other classes. ... In a case brought before Dutch tax authorities in 2005 by pupil Maaike Buurman, it was ruled that because the course was used "to extend her professional knowledge" -- as a tax official put it to Reuters -- it was eligible for a tax write-off. Buurman argued she enrolled in the school to help her in teaching the history of the Middle Ages -- but of course, a witch would say that.

And we Americans all thought the recently-enacted American Opportunity tax credit was the coolest thing in educational tax assistance. Begone ye mere tax mortals!

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