Bradley Jacoby Games Chartered Professional Accountants | Victoria, BC | 250-370-2191

Divorce Settlement: Family Business

In a June 11, 2018 Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan case, at issue was whether a $500,000 settlement upon separation was taxable and whether the dispute over its tax status rendered the settlement void. The settlement did not concern a division of marital assets but, rather, rights to income and property forgone or promised during the term of the marriage. In particular, the recipient (Mr. R) was primarily seeking payment in respect of insufficient…

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Director’s Liability: Helping Out Family

Being a director of a corporation comes with many responsibilities. Failing to exercise due diligence in ensuring source deductions (such as EI, CPP, and income tax) are properly withheld from wages and remitted to CRA may result in a director’s personal liability for the corporation’s outstanding amount. A June 12, 2018 Tax Court of Canada case examined whether an individual who set up a corporation (along with a bank account) for his brother to operate…

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Interest Deductibility: Returns of Capital

In an April 20, 2018 Tax Court of Canada case, at issue was whether the taxpayer could deduct interest incurred in 2013, 2014, and 2015 related to $300,000 borrowed in 2007 to purchase mutual funds. From 2007–2015, the taxpayer received a return of capital* from the funds, totalling $196,850 over the period. The taxpayer used some proceeds to reduce the loan principal, but the majority was used for personal purposes. Taxpayer loses The Court examined…

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Directors: Can They Be Liable for Corporate Income Taxes?

A December 11, 2017 Tax Court of Canada case examined whether a taxpayer was liable for unpaid income taxes of the corporation of which he was a director. CRA’s assessment was based on the assertion that the taxpayer was a legal representative of the corporation and had distributed assets of the corporation without having first obtained a clearance certificate from CRA. A clearance certificate essentially confirms that the corporation has paid all amounts of tax,…

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Employer-Sponsored Social Events: After the Party

In an April 9, 2018 French Technical Interpretation, CRA clarified their position on taxable benefits arising from employer-sponsored social events, such as a holiday party or other event. Where the cost of the social event does not exceed $150/person (previously the limit was $100), excluding incidentals such as transportation, taxi fares and accommodations, there would be no taxable benefit to employees. CRA indicated that the cost should be computed per person who attended, and not per person invited. If the cost exceeds $150/person, the entire amount, including the additional cost, is…

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Subsidized Meals: Are They a Taxable Benefit?

Do you have an employee dining room or cafeteria? In a March 21, 2018 Technical Interpretation, CRA stated that they do not consider meals subsidized by the employer to be a taxable benefit provided the employee pays a reasonable charge. This charge should be sufficient to cover the cost of the food, its preparation and service. Where the charge is less than the cost, the difference would be considered a taxable benefit and should be…

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Home Buyers Need to Check Residency of Home Sellers If They Suspect the Seller Is Not Canadian

When Canadians purchase a home, they are required to withhold part of the purchase price should the seller be a non-resident of Canada. A recent Tax Court of Canada decision (Kau v. the Queen [2018 TCC 156]) should serve as a warning to clients and professionals alike, to watch for any red flags that might suggest the seller is not a resident of Canada. As a result of this recent court decision, the home buyer…

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Construction Activities: Reporting Obligations for Subcontractors

A July 17, 2017 Technical Interpretation examined the conditions which would require the filing of a T5018, Statement of Contract Payments. Where a person or partnership primarily derives their business income from construction activities for a reporting period, a T5018 should be filed for any subcontractor payment or credit made relating to goods or services received in the course of construction activities. The reporting period may be a calendar or fiscal year but cannot be…

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Reasonable Vehicle Allowances: GST/HST Claim

A travel allowance paid to an employee for the use of their personal vehicle for business purposes will be non-taxable if it is reasonable. Where such reasonable allowances are paid, an input tax credit (ITC) may be claimed by the employer. The ITC is computed as the imputed GST/HST in the allowance, without adjustment for the fact that some costs likely did not attract GST/HST. In non-harmonized provinces/territories (such as Alberta and BC), the ITC would be 5/105 of the allowance. The ITC in a harmonized province is different.…

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Family Members: Can I Pay Them a Salary?

For a small business, whether operated as a corporation, proprietorship or partnership, it is quite possible that relatives of the owners or partners may be engaged as employees. Due to the closer familial relationship between employer and employee, CRA pays particular attention to ensure that the salary is truly an eligible deduction to the business. According to CRA, salaries to children and spouses are deductible as long as all of these conditions are met: the…

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