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Can pols write off hair and make up?

That’s what a Democratic-affiliated group is asking -- in a complaint it filed with the Internal Revenue Service, asking it to investigate whether former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown violated federal law by claiming deductions on his 2010 and 2011 tax returns for "grooming" expenses.

The Republican, who now is challenging New Hampshire Sen. Senator Jeanne Shaheen for the Senate, claimed “grooming” deductions in 2010 and 2011, the American Democracy Legal Fund claims, citing news reports. Specifically, the group says Brown claimed a $2,149 deduction for “TV makeup and grooming” in 2010, and another $1,401 deduction for identical expenses in 2011.

Elizabeth Guyton, a spokeswoman for Brown, called the legal fund a “partisan Democratic group whose purpose is to file frivolous complaints against Republican candidates” and said its claims “have absolutely no merit."

The Boston Globe in 2012 reported that Brown’s 2011 return listed $1,401 in “TV makeup and grooming” costs incurred promoting his memoir, “Against All Odds.”

The group says any amount Brown claimed for grooming is “improper,” arguing that “even if the expenses are directly related to a taxpayer’s job, or if maintaining a well-groomed appearance is a condition of employment, these expenses are non-deductible.”

It says the Tax Court has repeatedly has denied deductions for the cost of haircuts for television news anchors and reporters whose contracts require them to maintain a neat appearance. The full complaint is here.

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