Travel Allowances: Limited Distance Covered

In a March 5, 2021 French Technical Interpretation, CRA commented on whether a travel allowance paid to employees on a per kilometre basis, but only up to a limited number of kilometres, could be a non-taxable allowance. For the allowance to be non-taxable, it must be a reasonable allowance for the use of a motor vehicle when travelling in the performance of employment duties. Further, measurement of the use of the vehicle must be based…

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Employees Working From Home During COVID-19: Personal Tax Deductions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees worked from home during a portion of 2020. On December 15, 2020, CRA released guidance on two new options available for employees claiming expenses related to working from home on their personal tax return.  While this will clearly impact an employee’s personal tax filing, it should also be considered by employers. A key question employers need to answer is whether they should provide an employer certification in respect…

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OAS Deferral: Undoing and Application

Photo by Tristan Le from Pexels As of July 1, 2013, where receipt of Old Age Security (OAS) is delayed, the monthly pension is increased by a factor of 0.6% for each month deferred, to a maximum increase of 36% (60 months, commencing receipt at age 70). In a March 25, 2020 Federal Court case, the Court reviewed Service Canada’s decision to deny relief to an individual who applied to cancel his OAS pension slightly more than one…

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Working From Home During Covid-19

In order for home office expenses to be deductible against employment income, the employee must be required by contract to incur such expenses, and one of the following has to be met: The home is where the employee principally (more than 50% of the time) does their work.The employee uses the space exclusively to earn employment income, and it is used on a regular and ongoing basis for meeting clients, customers or other people in…

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Real Estate Sales: Taxable or Not?

In general, gains are fully taxable where the taxpayer buys a property with the intention to sell for a profit (sold on “account of income"). In other cases, half the gain is taxable (sold on “account of capital”). When a sale on “account of capital” involves the sale of a principal residence, the tax may be reduced or eliminated by using the principal residence exemption. In a December 13, 2019 French Tax Court of Canada…

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Property Flipping: Income or Capital?
House Flipping

Property Flipping: Income or Capital?

In an August 14, 2019 Tax Court of Canada case, at issue was whether the sales of four properties in B.C. were on account of income (fully taxable) or capital (half taxable), and whether they were eligible for the principal residence exemption (potentially tax-free) as claimed by the taxpayer, a real estate agent. Essentially, the Court was trying to determine if the properties were purchased with the intent to re-sell for a profit, or for…

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Reimbursement For Work Clothing: Taxable

In an April 17, 2019 Technical Interpretation, CRA was asked whether clothing reimbursements paid to maintenance employees were taxable benefits. Employees were not required to wear specific uniforms and were reimbursed based on receipts, to an annual maximum. CRA referred to Guide T4130 Taxable Benefits and Allowances, which states that clothing is generally a personal expense, except where either of the following applies: the employee is required to wear a distinctive uniform while carrying out…

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Special Work Site Allowance: Home Base Needed

In a January 29, 2019 Technical Interpretation, CRA discussed the criteria for tax-exempt allowances for board and lodging received for periods an employee was working at a special work site. To be a special work site, the following criteria must be met: the work performed at the location must have been of a temporary nature;the employee must have maintained a self-contained domestic establishment (SCDE) elsewhere which was used as their principal place of residence;the SCDE…

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Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP): Enhanced Possibilities

The HBP allows first-time home buyers to withdraw amounts from their RRSP to buy or build a home. Budget 2019 proposed to increase the HBP withdrawal limit to $35,000 from $25,000. As the HBP is available to each individual, a couple could access up to $70,000 to assist in a first-time home purchase.

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