Principal Residence Exemption: Land in Excess of One-half Hectare

The definition of a principal residence limits the amount of land that qualifies for the principal residence exemption to half a hectare unless the taxpayer establishes that the excess land was necessary for the use and enjoyment of the housing unit as a residence. In referencing Folio S1-F3-C2, Principal Residence, CRA stated that using excess land in connection with a particular recreation or lifestyle (such as keeping pets or country living) does not mean the…

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Required Travel: Between Home and Work

A June 21, 2022 Tax Court of Canada case considered whether motor vehicle costs of $1,642 associated with a construction foreman’s travel between home and various job sites were deductible against employment income. The taxpayer worked on many of his employer’s 50 projects, located at numerous construction sites. The taxpayer was responsible for ensuring that the workers were in place each morning and were ready to work with properly functioning tools, materials and equipment. This…

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Poker Playing: Hobby or Business?

In a June 21, 2022 French Tax Court of Canada case, CRA assessed the taxpayer’s poker winnings from 2010 to 2012 as business income. In 2010, the taxpayer won almost $9 million in the No Limit Hold'em Championship (The Main Event) at the World Series of Poker. His net winnings that year were about $5 million. In 2011 and 2012, the other two years under review, his net winnings were about $400,000 and $100,000 respectively.…

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Principal Residence Exemption: CRA Project

In early 2022, CRA began to send out education letters in respect of individuals claiming the principal residence exemption (PRE) in the British Columbia region. Often, regional projects such as this are used as pilots for subsequent national projects. As CRA has indicated that they have a larger overall focus on real estate transactions, similar or extended versions of the project may be coming. The letters advised that the taxpayer or their representative review the…

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Buying and Selling a Home: Budget 2022 Proposals
CRA Programs - Buying and Selling a Home

Buying and Selling a Home: Budget 2022 Proposals

The 2022 Federal Budget included several proposals that would significantly change the taxation environment when buying and selling a home. Broadly, the government proposed various incentives for first-time buyers and extended family units in addition to bright-line tests/restrictions for those purchasing homes for profit (e.g. home flippers). Taxpayers should consider how the changes will affect their intended purchases and sales. In some cases, it may be beneficial to expedite a purchase or sale, while in others, it may…

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Enhancing the Value of Owner-Managed Business: Starting the Transition Early

Many owner-managers are shocked at both the difficulties in finding a buyer for their business and the low prices an owner-managed business often commands. A recent Intelligent Work article (How Does 10x-ing Value Work in an Owner-Managed Business?, John Mill) discussed guidance provided to Harvard MBA students regarding investing in owner-managed businesses. That guidance included the reality that these businesses with earnings between $750,000 and $2 million tend to be priced at 3x to 5x…

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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Repayments

Self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5,000 will not be required to repay CERB, as long as their gross self-employment income was at least $5,000 (in 2019 or the previous 12 months preceding the application) and they met all other eligibility criteria. On May 12, 2021, a remission order that would allow this relief was released. For the debt to be remitted, individuals will need to file their 2019 and 2020 tax…

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Covid-19 Medical Expenses: Tax Treatment

Medical expenses eligible for a personal tax credit are limited to those specifically provided for by the Income Tax Act. While an expense may clearly relate to an individual’s health, it may still not be an eligible medical expense. CRA recently provided comments on a number of medical expenses related to COVID-19. Face masks In a February 25, 2021 Technical Interpretation, CRA opined that the costs of a non-medical mask, that is mostly used to protect others from…

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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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CRA Collections: Potential Impact on Business

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels As some businesses struggle with cash flow, they may be motivated to prioritize suppliers and other creditors ahead of CRA. A recent court case demonstrates CRA’s power to collect tax arrears and the impact of CRA exercising this power on a business. In a June 11, 2021 Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta case, the taxpayer had fallen into arrears in respect of both GST/HST and payroll remittances. Payment arrangements were entered into…

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