The Most Outrageous Tax Claims Canadians Have Made
You want to claim WHAT on your taxes?
We've all heard the saying: the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While we may not have much control over the former, we can take steps to reduce our tax bills. But how far would you go to save a few dollars in taxes? Some taxpayers have been very creative in trying to justify tax deductions. While some attempts were rejected, many others were approved by the Tax Court.
Cleo Hamel, senior tax analyst with H&R Block Canada, shares what worked and what didn't with these unusual deductions...
Accepted: Additional food needed by couriers
The Federal Court of Appeal ruled the additional food required by a foot and transit courier because of the extra energy he expended could be claimed as a business expense.
Scott v. The Queen, 98 D.T.C. 6530
Plus, it's unlikely that the food the courier purchased was on the most expensive things in the world list.
Even if your job requires you to be well-groomed and get a haircut regularly, the cost of the cuts is not deductible against your employment income.
Rouillard v. The Queen  4 C.T.C. 2065
(Alright fine, we'll spill. Here are some other ways to spend more wisely on items that'll save you hundreds over time).
Accepted: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
A stripper was allowed to keep nearly $2 million in gifts from a happy customer despite the fact that the CRA argued the gifts were income. The Tax Court ruled they were indeed gifts.
Landry v. The Queen  TCC 399
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Rejected: Ballet lessons
While the cost of your child’s ballet lessons does qualify for the Children’s Arts Credit, it cannot be claimed as a childcare expense.
Levine v. The Queen  2 C.T.C. 2147
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Accepted: Golf is not an employment expense if you hate it
A Canadian executive successfully argued that the golf membership paid by his company was not a valid employment expense because he hated playing golf.
Rachfalowski v. The Queen  TCC 258
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Rejected: Trips to Vegas
Even if your doctor recommends trips to warmer climates to help with a skin condition, the cost of trips to Las Vegas and Arizona cannot be claimed as a medical expense.
Goodwin v. The Queen  4 C.T.C. 2906
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Rejected: Gambling as a business
A lawyer turned professional gambler had more than $100,000 in losses disallowed as a business expense because he could not prove he had an actual business plan.
Cohen v. The Queen  TCC 262
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Rejected: Income Tax Act incomprehensible
Arguing that the Income Tax Act is difficult to understand is not a valid defense when charged with failing to file an income tax return.
R. v. Meikle  4 C.T.C. 294
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