CRA denies prepare driver’s work-away-from-home prices, is taken to court docket







Jamie Golombek: To deduct unreimbursed meals and lodging employment bills, a number of circumstances should be met

Article content material

Some taxpayers attempt to write off the price of attending to work as a deductible expense for tax functions. However aside from the odd distinctive case, these bills are denied for the reason that Canada Income Company typically considers the price of driving backwards and forwards between dwelling and work as a non-deductible private expense.

Commercial 2

Article content material

However what for those who determine to remain at a lodge close to your employer’s office throughout the workweek to reduce your every day commute? Are you able to write off the price of your lodging, together with the price of meals whereas dwelling close to your work? Effectively, you possibly can actually attempt. One Ontario taxpayer did and nearly acquired away with it, till the CRA challenged the taxpayer’s employment bills and the matter ended up in Tax Courtroom.

Article content material

The current case concerned a commuter prepare operator for GO Transit, the regional public transit service for the Higher Toronto and Hamilton Space. The job required him to work from varied prepare stations throughout Ontario. The taxpayer usually resided in Prince Edward County, and the corporate’s dwelling terminal was Toronto’s Union Station.

Commercial 3

Article content material

The taxpayer reported taxable revenue of $130,640 in 2014 and $110,729 in 2015, and claimed employment bills on his tax return of $17,604 and $20,408, respectively. The employment bills consisted largely of lodging bills (about $11,000 in 2014 and $14,700 in 2015), and meals (almost $6,000 in 2014 and $5,700 in 2015).

The CRA initially assessed his tax returns for 2014 and 2015 as filed, however the company subsequently reassessed the taxpayer in 2016 and denied all his employment bills for each years.

The taxpayer defined he was required as a commuter prepare operator to work from varied prepare stations forming a part of the GO Transit community. On the trial, the taxpayer testified that in a normal working week, he would go away his dwelling in Prince Edward County on Sunday afternoon and head by automobile to Oshawa, returning dwelling solely on Friday evenings after his week’s remaining shift was over. The driving distance between his dwelling and Oshawa is roughly 160 kilometres, representing a driving time of just about two hours.

Commercial 4

Article content material

The taxpayer additional defined that he often began and completed work on the Oshawa GO prepare station and never at his employer’s dwelling terminal positioned in Toronto. Whereas away from dwelling, he typically stayed at a lodge near the Oshawa GO station or in Pickering, the place he rented an condominium close to its GO station for a interval of six or seven months in 2014, at a value of $9,500. He rented a unique Pickering condominium in 2015 at a value of $5,520, and commuted from there to the Oshawa GO station the place he labored.

There’s a particular rule within the Revenue Tax Act that permits transportation staff who’re recurrently required to be away from their dwelling municipality to deduct unreimbursed meals and lodging employment bills. To be entitled to deduct these bills, a number of circumstances should be met.

Commercial 5

Article content material

First, the employer’s principal enterprise should be transporting passengers, items or a mixture of each. The taxpayer can be required to recurrently journey away from the municipality the place the employer’s institution is positioned (that’s, the place the taxpayer reported to work). As well as, the taxpayer should journey on autos utilized by the employer to move these items or passengers. Lastly, the taxpayer should be required by their duties of employment to pay for meals and lodging whereas away from their dwelling municipality.

The worker on this case had a correctly accomplished and signed Canada Income Company Type T2200, Declaration of Circumstances of Employment, on which his employer licensed he was required to pay varied kinds of bills for which he wouldn’t be reimbursed. Underneath the “Circumstances of employment” part, his employer acknowledged he was required to journey to areas that weren’t his office whereas performing his employment duties.

Commercial 6

Article content material

The shape additionally famous that the employer required the worker to be away for 12 consecutive hours from the municipality and the metropolitan space the place he routinely reported for work. His employer acknowledged on the T2200 type that it doesn’t reimburse employment bills incurred by its staff.

The worker additionally accomplished and filed signed copies of the particular type for transit staff, Type TL2, Claims for meals and lodging bills, which the taxpayer connected to his 2014 and 2015 tax returns.

Commercial 7

Article content material

Throughout his testimony, the taxpayer testified his every day work shift was greater than 12 hours per day, and he gave details about particular routes to indicate that. However when cross-examined about his every day work shift, the taxpayer acknowledged “that lots of his routes lasted lower than 12 hours and have been topic to separate shifts with interruption occasions.”

Based mostly on the proof, the choose mentioned the taxpayer had not established that his duties of employment required him to recurrently journey away from Oshawa, and away from the metropolitan space the place his employer was positioned, thus necessitating him to incur bills for meals and lodging. The choose famous that Oshawa is within the Durham Area, which is within the Higher Toronto Space. The taxpayer, subsequently, was not in a position to set up that the employment bills he claimed have been incurred outdoors the metropolitan space the place he reported to work.

“The deductions … (are) not meant for workers who determine, for private causes, to not return to their houses on the finish of every working day,” the choose concluded.

Jamie Golombek, CPA, CA, CFP, CLU, TEP, is the managing director, Tax & Property Planning with CIBC Non-public Wealth in Toronto.


If you happen to favored this story, join extra within the FP Investor e-newsletter.



Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the positioning. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We’ve enabled electronic mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an electronic mail for those who obtain a reply to your remark, there may be an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Go to our Group Tips for extra info and particulars on methods to alter your electronic mail settings.


Share this


Apply for a Credit score Card: A Step-by-Step Information

Nonetheless have questions on methods to apply for a bank card? We’ve acquired solutions. Apply for a Credit  lengthy does it take to get a...

Planning for Particular Wants Trusts: 3 Key Questions

Households with particular wants kids or adults should take care of a big problem: the way to present their family members with the...

Hospitalized With, or Hospitalized For?

“You may idiot all the folks among the time; you may idiot among the folks all the time, however you may’t idiot all...

Recent articles

More like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here