A look at some of the more bizarre tax claims

TORONTO — For most Canadians, tax claims can be mundane. Expenses for school or the costs of moving are pretty straight-forward. But for others, income tax season is an opportunity to think outside the box and test the limits of what can be claimed.

A look at some of the more daring tax claims Canadians have made over the years:

To every cloud a silver lining

Paul DioGuardi, a Toronto tax lawyer, once successfully defended a man in Tax Court who attempted to claim a portion of the cost of his Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud as a business expense but had it rejected.

The client’s successful business afforded him the means to buy the costly automobile, which he used as a personal vehicle and as a delivery car for his clients. But at the time in Canada, nothing above the expense of a Cadillac had ever been allowed as luxury car deductions for business use.

The presiding judge, however, owned a Rolls Royce and allowed the full deduction of automobile expenses related to his work.

———

Claiming Fluffy as a dependent

Lisa Gittens, a Toronto-based tax professional with H&R Block, says a woman came to her office last year, trying to claim her cat as a dependent and bringing in all her receipts for food and vet bills.

“It was like, ‘Yes, I understand you give love and support to this cat, but Revenue Canada’s criteria for a dependent is quite different,” Gittens recalls telling the woman.

But if your pet is working for you, you may be able to claim their costs. A farmer was once allowed to claim cat and dog food because they were outdoor pets that were acquired to keep wildlife away from his blueberry crops, according to H&R Block.

———

A rewarding wardrobe, literally

Tax lawyer Paul DioGuardi’s firm also successfully defended a client’s right to claim a $5,000 Brioni suit that he only wore when he did media appearances, advertisements and television commercials.

Typically you don’t get to claim your normal wardrobe as a tax deduction. But in this case it was a single dedicated-use suit and was part of the client’s persona, DioGuardi said.

———

Putting for green

John Sliskovic, a tax partner at EY’s private client services business in London, Ont., says there’s always questions about what’s personal and what’s business when it comes to expenses.

“I’ve had the odd client ask if they could deduct the cost of their golf clubs,” he said. “I never know if they’re serious or joking in that type of thing.”

For the record, Sliskovic says you can’t unless, of course, you’re a professional golfer.

“Only they’re probably getting their clubs for free from the manufacturer,” he laughed.

———

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

911 operator helps Red Deer couple during birth

Meet for the first time Thursday

Canada’s 150 year ends on ice, but no hockey pucks, triple jumps allowed

OTTAWA — No figure skating. No hockey. No racing. No cell phones.… Continue reading

Banner signing at Collicutt Centre

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Regulator investigating Sears Canada liquidation sale prices: monitor

TORONTO — The Competition Bureau is investigating allegations that prices on some… Continue reading

Video: Joshua Frank explains shooting Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus

Frank and Jason Klaus are facing triple murder charges in the deaths Klaus’ parents and sister

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

CP Holiday train makes stops in Central Alberta

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million, auditor general says

The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month