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Business Loss or Personal Venture: Can You Deduct Losses Against Other Income?

In order for an individual to apply their business loss (where reasonable expenses exceed revenues) to another source of income such as employment earnings (thereby reducing the overall tax liability), the taxpayer must be able to prove that they are truly running a business. That is, they have to show that the undertaking was in the pursuit of profit.

An April 28, 2017 Tax Court of Canada case considered whether a practicing lawyer had a source of business income in respect of her law practice for the 2011–2014 years.

The taxpayer incurred losses in all of the years in question ranging from $4,014 to $12,613 and reported annual revenues ranging from $0 to $3,850. The taxpayer reported that the time she spent on the proprietorship was diverse, however, on average she worked about 5 to 10 hours per week. The taxpayer testified that she did no pro bono or volunteer work, but rather, charged clients depending on their circumstances. In some cases, the clients did not end up pa…

Underground Economy: Contractors, Online Sales, Farmers Markets …

In recent years, CRA has particularly focused on tracking underground economy activities. One way they are doing this is by obtaining information from key 3rd parties.

For example, recently CRA obtained details from contractor credit applications submitted to Rona. Consider the type of information that Rona would have: name, address, and other specifics that would help determine whether credit should be given. Presumably CRA could compare information reported on a credit application to the contractors' tax returns.

CRA has also recently obtained information from Square Canada. Many smaller vendors accept payment by swiping the customer's credit card through a little square plastic device connected to the audio jack of a phone or IPad. Square Canada provides this payment processing device, a Square Reader. Through a Federal Court Order issued to Square Canada, CRA obtained identifying vendor information and sale details associated with individuals or entities using t…

Return of a Gifted Property: Donors and Charities Beware!

In a March 31, 2017 Technical Interpretation, CRA commented on the tax consequences of a charity returning a donated property to the donor. This could occur, for example, when a donation was made specifically for a project that had been halted.
Donor Where the property is returned to the donor, the taxpayer is deemed not to have disposed of the property nor to have made the gift. As such, the portion of the original charitable donation tax credit or deduction related to the property may be disallowed.

Donee Before returning a gifted property, the charity should review other provincial and federal legislation as it might affect their ability to legally return donated property. CRA also noted that returning property could be regarded as making a gift to a non-qualified donee or providing an undue benefit which could result in revocation of charitable status.


A qualified donee that issued an official donation receipt and later returns donated property must file an information r…

Retirement Income Calculator: Ensure you are Financially Ready

The Canadian Retirement Income Calculatorprovided by the Government of Canada estimates retirement income generated through a number of programs such as the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security pension, an individual’s employer’s pension plan, RRSPs, and other sources based on past and intended contributions.
When using this tool, individuals should have their CPP Statement of Contributions, financial information about their employer’s pension, most recent RRSP statement, and any other information related to savings that will provide for ongoing monthly retirement income.
Action Item: Use this tool to help assess your financial readiness for retirement.




This article is for educational purposes only. As it is impossible to include all situations, circumstances, and exceptions, a further review should be done for your situation. No organization or individual involved in either the preparation or distribution of these articles accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liabili…

Employee Discounts on Merchandise: Change in CRA Policy

Historically, CRA has stated that an employee enjoying a discount on the purchase of merchandise from their employer is only taxable if a limited number of specified situations exist, such as where the employer makes a special arrangement with the employee or group of employees to buy the merchandise at a discount; the employee buys the merchandise for less than the employer's cost; or the employer makes a reciprocal arrangement with another employer so that the employees of one employer can buy merchandise from the other at a discount.
While the above guidance is still published in certain CRA documents, CRA has recently released updated guidance which appears to limit this administrative position. In CRA Folio S2-F3-C2, CRA noted that where an employee receives a discount on merchandise because of their employment, the value of the discount is generally a taxable benefit. This would apply regardless of whether the discount was provided by the employer or a third-part…

WorkSafeBC Complimentary Informational Seminars

The following information comes from The Employers' Advisers Office ... The Employers’ Advisers Office is independent of WorkSafeBC and provides employers with impartial advice, assistance and representation on workers’ compensation issues.  Employers and their representatives are invited to attend our no-charge informational seminars, covering various provisions of the Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
To register for seminars in Victoria (or other locations), for seminar descriptions, dates, and times, please visit the Employers' Advisers website.