Shocking claims: Four outrageous income tax deductions


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

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

To every cloud a silver lining

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

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

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

Claiming Fluffy as a dependent

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

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

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

A gainful wardrobe, literally

Tax lawyer Paul DioGuardi’s firm also successfully defended a patron’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 requisition your normal wardrobe as a tax deduction. But in this case it was a single dedicated-use request and was part of the client’s persona, DioGuardi said.

Putting for green

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

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

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

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

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