You’re not alone if you’ve tried to post-rationalize a random expense as a deduction. Over the years, Canadians have become inventive in their quest for somewhat absurd deductions, and we’ve compiled some of the most outstanding ones right here.
Also, you might be new here which makes determining expenses even more confusing. Check out our Tax Filing Tips for Newcomers to Canada post for helpful advice.
Now let’s hear about these crazy tax stories.
An in-home daycare center wanted to claim two iguanas as a business expense, stating that the reptiles were entertainment cost for the children!
According to the CRA, unless the animal is specifically used for assistance with a specified medical condition, it cannot be considered a deduction. Canadians have also tried to claim cats as dependents, a Labradoodle’s doggy daycare as a childcare expense, and an aquarium as a medical expense because watching fish swim was calming!
People have tried to claim the cost of importing lobster to cure homesickness, visits to oxygen bars in Las Vegas to cure hangovers, a 5 star Bermuda resort to treat depression, and even high-end headphones as hearing aids!
When it comes medical expenses, only those necessities are allowed. Travel is an eligible medical expense, but only applies if substantially equivalent medical services are not available nearby, and you need to travel at least 40 kilometers one-way to seek medical attention.
Check out our post on Medical Expense Deduction – Tips on Getting Organized Early to learn more.
Looking Good Isn’t Cheap
A server argued that his weekly haircuts and manicures helped him get bigger tips.
Although that may be true, the CRA does not view these types of expenses as reasonable employment expenses, unless you are a self-employed model.
Fast & Furious
Speeding tickets were claimed as an employment expense, because someone was always late to client meetings and had accumulated over a dozen traffic fines during the year.
Obviously, this cannot be considered as part of his employment contract and hence isn’t counted as an eligible deduction.
Ultimately, trying to claim credits and deductions that seem questionable is always a bad idea. However, when you’re filing your return for 2016, you should pay close attention to any missed eligible deductions, such as:
- Family medical expenses
- Charitable donations
- Childcare expenses
- Pension splitting for seniors
With TurboTax, you’ll never miss a thing. Our powerful search will help you find over 400 possible deductions and credits to make sure you can claim everything you’re entitled to. What’s more, with optimizers for pension splitting and charitable donations, TurboTax makes it easier to get your maximum refund – guaranteed.