Movember: Do men with mustaches deserve a tax break?

Movember, in which men grow – or attempt to grow – mustaches for charity kicks off on Tuesday. The American Mustache Institute is calling for a $250 tax incentive for facial hair on the upper lip.

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 31: The NHL's Anaheim Ducks player George Parros gets a shave from teammate Corey Perry at the Anaheim Ducks Movember Kick-Off event at The Art Of Shaving on October 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Art Of Shaving) (Getty Images for The Art Of Shav)

Happy Movember! If you've ever contemplated growing a mustache – and if you happen to possess the requisite hormones that allow you to do so – this is the month to give it a shot. Started in 1999 in Adelaide, Australia, Movember encourages men to seek sponsorships to stop shaving their upper lips for 30 days, with the money going to men's health initiatives.

But what about men who have mustaches year round? Do they deserve a handout? Perhaps not surprisingly, the American Mustache Institute thinks so. The AMI, whose mission is to fight discrimination against mustached Americans, is seeking a tax deduction for expenditures related to mustache maintenance.

Proposed by the Northeastern State University accounting professor John Yeutter, the Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses – or STACHE – Act would allow men to deduct $250 from their Adjusted Gross Income to offset the costs of mustache trimmers, wax, coloring products, and other grooming supplies.

IN PICTURES: Famous beards

According to Yeutter, the STACHE Act would increase federal revenues by some $300 million each year. Watch him make his pitch in this video:


As long as you don't think about it too hard, this seems like a perfectly reasonable argument. But frankly, we think Yeutter would appear more credible if he didn't have that thing on his upper lip.

Implementation and enforcement could be difficult, but we don't doubt that the IRS is up to the task. Also, the STACHE Act would apply only to those with mustaches, not beards. (To insist that a bearded man has a mustache is like saying that someone with a full head of hair has a mohawk, only with the sides unshaven. In order for a 'stache to be a 'stache, it must stand alone.)

Given the current political climate – there are only 30 mustaches in the House of Representatives – it's unlikely that the STACHE Act will gain any traction. But there's still hope for mustachioed taxpayers. Herman Cain is the first presidential candidate in recent memory to sport a hairy philtrum (the last president to have a mustache was William Howard Taft). If Cain wins the general election, it's possible that he would offer a tax break for his fellow 'stache bearers. Especially the rich ones.

In the meantime, if you really want a $250 tax break, the easiest way to do it is donate $250 to charity.

If Movember is not for you, next month is the lesser-known Decembeard, in which men attempt to do the same thing on their chins, followed by Januhairy, which we would prefer not to describe.

IN PICTURES: Famous beards