Deductible Home Office Expenses?

In a recent Tax Court of Canada case, the taxpayers operated a partnership in their home and deducted costs for painting the exterior of the house, brickwork repair, lawn care and snow removal.

CRA disallowed these expenses and called them personal in nature.

The Tax Court relied on another case where the Supreme Court previously ruled that if a need exists, even in the absence of a business activity…then an  expense to meet the needs would traditionally be viewed as a personal expense.

In this case, the need to keep the exterior of the residence in good condition, the grounds maintained and the thoroughfares clear, existed quite separate from the partnership’s management business.  Business clients rarely came to the residence. Thus, these costs were personal expenses according to the court.

Note that other expenses, such as a business permit, that were directly related to the office in the home were certainly deductible.

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