Sometimes the Right Choice Isn't Tax Deductible

If you promised your wife a new kitchen, you need to follow through.

Published on: Dec 19, 2013

My wife wants to remodel the kitchen, but that’s not tax-deductible. I was thinking more about building a new tool shed to get something we need and hold down tax liability. She’s not buying it, and she doesn’t like the idea of new kitchen cabinets in the tool shed office. We can’t afford both. Is this a year I don’t worry about taxes and redo the kitchen?

Erickson: It is not uncommon for farm families to struggle with these decisions, but too often the wife loses out in the end. In my opinion, you are talking about two completely different types of expenses and they should not be compared. Rarely is there the opportunity to make home improvements tax-deductible for anyone. Machine sheds rarely bring any true savings or income to the bottom line of a business. I do not know how much or often you have made home improvements, but I would guess not that often. Do the kitchen remodel.

Sometimes the Right Choice Isn’t Tax Deductible
Sometimes the Right Choice Isn’t Tax Deductible

Evans: Personally speaking, my wife, second only to God, is the most valuable component in my life. Best advice is for you to keep your wife happy as it could be more costly and scarring if you do not keep her happy. At least kitchen remodels by most home remodel studies have at least an 80% return when selling a home. Now let’s start adding up the costs of a divorce…. Got your answer? Guys don’t like to talk much, still talk about both options but don’t dig in your heels!

Myers: This is not really a management question, this is about communication. When momma’s not happy, no one will be happy. I suggest assessing your personal and business priorities and the quality of family life and relationships. Some items don’t fit on a ledger sheet.

Parker: Marriage is all about communication and compromise. What other improvements have occurred over the last five years and were they related to the home or the farm? Kitchen remodeling can have a payback upon re-sell of the home. Not knowing any other detail about how family financial resources have been allocated over the last few years, I would vote for kitchen remodeling first and then the tool shed later. Perhaps a joint budget discussion with estimated costs of each versus farm and other income could help clarify the whole situation. A spousal team approach is much preferable to acting alone.