Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a recent decision out of the U.S. Tax Court last week sheds new meaning on the term “questionable expenses.”
It seems that from 2005 through 2008, former central Ohio television news anchor Anietra Hamper deducted an average of $21,000 annually in unreimbursed employment expenses. Among the expenses claimed? A cotton thong and lingerie, clothing, hair, nail and makeup expenses, teeth whitening, dry-cleaning costs, self-defence classes and magazine subscriptions to Cosmopolitan and Glamour.
During the years in question, Ms. Hamper was required to maintain a “specified professional appearance” as described in the “Women’s Wardrobe Guidelines.” These guidelines provide that the “ideal in selecting an outfit for on-air use should be the selection of ‘standard business wear,’ typical of that which one might wear on any business day in a normal office setting.”
Ms. Hamper argued that she wears her business clothing only at work and kept it separate from her personal clothing. She further explained that “the requirement to wear conservative clothing makes her business clothing unsuitable for everyday wear.”
According to court documents, the clothing purchased for work included traditional business suits, loungewear, a robe, sportswear, active wear, evening wear, as well as lingerie, a cotton bikini and cotton thong underwear.
Before deducting a particular clothing expense, Ms. Hamper would ask herself whether she would be buying the item if she didn’t have to wear it to work. “If the answer is no, then I know that I am buying it specifically for work, and therefore, it is a deductible business expense,” she testified.
The Court ruled that since the clothing Ms. Hamper purchased was suitable for everyday wear, even if it was not worn every day, she was not entitled to deduct it since the costs were “inherently personal expenses.”
The law in Canada is similar. B.C. financial advisor Hans Rupprecht attempted to deduct more than $8,400 of suits, ties, shirts and accessories he purchased in Vancouver.
Mr. Rupprecht testified that he wore these clothes for his work as a certified financial planner and “only for work purposes” and that he needed “suitable clothing” to go with his new office.
The Tax Court found that “clothing is prima facie a personal expense” and that the deduction of personal expenses is specifically prohibited by the Income Tax Act. As the Judge wrote, “Expenses relating to one’s personal appearance are the very essence of a personal expense and involve choices made by a taxpayer in preparing him or herself for work.”
Mr. Rupprecht lost in Tax Court in 2006 and again, upon appeal, in Federal Court in 2009. He sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, which last year turned down his request, as presumably the matter was not perceived to be of national importance.
Posted by The Old Tarf at 5:41 AM
Monday, February 28, 2011
The Canadian dollar closed Friday at a more than three-year high and the Toronto Stock Exchange made triple-digit gains as oil prices stabilized, with investors reassured any shortfall in Libyan oil production would be recouped.
The loonie's official close was 102.19 cents US, a gain of 0.47 of a cent, and its highest level since November 2007. This morning it is now at 102.68.
So in order not to pay any service charges and to bulk up our US$ account I went and transferred over from another account at the PC to avoid paying extra costs to another bank. Forgot when I transferred out of our Chequing Account to take it out of our Savings and so in a hurry pressed the button. Then realized it was for the wrong Account and now will incur an overdraft fee. So much for me thinking I was a clever boy. Haste does make waste. lol
Now when I was at the (other) Bank this morning and picked up a small RRSP to avoid paying taxes to the Federal Government this year. I found out that we are allowed only 1 free transaction on this
account each month and I had already had 2 this month. Now it gets better I even made a 8am appointment as soon as the
Bank opened, to beat the RRSP deadline of tomorrow March 1st. The weather was -18c when Ginny dropped me off this morning, so talk about being eager to save and trying to be organized. ( Very over Zealous on my part).
So another $2.00 fee, on top of our overdraft charge.
At least the fee for the RRSP was waived by the bank and we were credited the transaction fee. Found out that we do not get any monthly service charges on this account. So no need for a minimum balance to keep in it each month. Which is good to know.
At least at the PC; we have unlimited transactions and no monthly fees to pay. Good thing as considering we do approx. each month 100+. We would be broke in a hurry. (And I wouldn't be able to afford to have my favorite libation of the god's.)
So now I have to wait until next month, which fortunately is "Tomorrow" to add to our US Dollar Account. So in order to save $4.00 today on buying US$ when the CDN$ is higher; I spent $7.00 instead on unnecessary fees. lol
I definitely got "hoisted on my own petard." Blow me over with a feather duster. :) Good thing it is Five O'clock somewhere.
Posted by The Old Tarf at 6:41 AM
Friday, February 11, 2011
Being such a Procrastinator, we are now into February. So I guess it is time to put up a Post. Well the past few months for G. and I have been rather hectic to say the least.
With visits in the middle of the night to the Hospital regarding G.'s Mom. Middle of the night phone calls. Having to place her Mom into a Nursing Home in the end. That was one of the hardest things we had to take part in.
Driving a hour up and a hour down the highway in all types of winter weather. Bridget coming over from Cambodia to help with everything and to get a chance to see her Mum, whilst she still remembers her.
Then heading out to British Columbia to help my cousin and My uncle and Aunt close down their beloved business of almost 40 years. It was heart wrenching to see them have to close. the worst thing is they have nothing to show for it. Over the years i guess the business has supplied some sort of income and life. But at the end to see it go belly up. Just shows the way the economy is now a days and the little family store just cannot compete with the Walmart's of this age and big box stores.
Spent two weeks cleaning, boxing and throwing out stuff. Mostly in the cold and wet as it rained almost everyday out in Hope, BC.
Helped Bob to build an Office in his garage for his watches,trophies,engraving etc. Hope things work out for him. The Town of Hope, is slowly dying and you see stores everywhere boarded up and going out of business. The Province killed the Town when they put in the HWY bypass a few years ago. Then the big box stores moved into the town of Chilawack down the Hwy and no one shops in Hope anymore or very few on a regular basis.
Then returned to about 3 feet of snow and in the past week another foot or so has fallen, average temp. is -10. So it is not a wonder that I came down with a bad cold and then being the generous person I am gave it to G. Spanish Classes which we enjoyed, because of missing a few weeks and then going too on Monday night ( sick and confused) and was totally broad-sided. I just up and quit and will wait till spring for the next level 2. Still want to learn but after these trying few months cannot get our minds around it at present. Will still look at the blog reference on our site from time to time to keep up with what we have learnt so far.
Well it hasn't been all doom and gloom. We did managed to get to Mexico for two weeks and needed the break. Had a great time down south. Enjoyed our New Years with our dear friends in Meaghers Grant here in NS. Managed to get our TFSA's topped
up, bought some more US$ when the dollar was good. Played a little guitar, read some good books, cozied up to
G. with an occasional glass of vino tinto. (When we weren't hacking and sneezing). Talked to my darling daughter and watched her videos on youtube and just enjoyed the moments together with family and friends. I am grateful for all the small things that God continues to present me each and every day.
Until the next time. Hasta la pronto! Mi amigos. It is five o'clock somewhere.
Posted by The Old Tarf at 7:35 AM