February 8, 2016 3:54 pm
Updated: February 11, 2016 12:54 pm

The most outrageous tax claims Canadians have made

It's almost time to file your taxes. A tax return form is pictured in Toronto on Wednesday April 13, 2011.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
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You want to claim what on your taxes?

We’ve all heard the saying: the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While we may not have much control over the former, we can take steps to reduce our tax bills. But how far would you go to save a few dollars in taxes? Some taxpayers have been very creative in trying to justify tax deductions. While some attempts were rejected, many others were approved by the Tax Court.

Cleo Hamel, a former tax analyst with H&R Block Canada and current spokesperson for American Expat Taxes, shares what worked and what didn’t with these unusual deductions.

READ MORE: 5 tax credits to tell your parents about

Accepted: Additional food needed by couriers

The Federal Court of Appeal ruled the additional food required by a foot and transit courier because of the extra energy he expended could be claimed as a business expense.

Rejected: Haircuts

Even if your job requires you to be well-groomed and get a haircut regularly, the cost of the cuts is not deductible against your employment income.

Accepted: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

A stripper was allowed to keep nearly $2 million in gifts from a happy customer despite the fact that the CRA argued the gifts were income. The Tax Court ruled they were indeed gifts.

READ MORE: 6 clever tricks to help break the paycheque-to-paycheque cycle

Rejected: Ballet lessons

While the cost of your child’s ballet lessons does qualify for the Children’s Arts Credit, it cannot be claimed as a childcare expense.

Accepted: Golf is not an employment expense if you hate it

A Canadian executive successfully argued that the golf membership paid by his company was not a valid employment expense because he hated playing golf.

Rejected: Trips to Vegas

Even if your doctor recommends trips to warmer climates to help with a skin condition, the cost of trips to Las Vegas and Arizona cannot be claimed as a medical expense.

Want to learn more? Click here for more of Slice’s financial advice. Also be sure to check out Golden Girl Finance for up-to-the-minute RRSP tips and tricks. 

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