Thursday, August 13, 2015
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