There was no material evidence of commercial effort

Tax – Income tax – Tax avoidance

Taxpayer, who was retired concert musician, undertook two distinct endeavors, one associated with abstract photography. Regarding his abstract photography endeavor, taxpayer traveled extensively to Paris and also several states in United States, and as such, most of taxpayer's expenses concerned travel costs. Taxpayer sold six photography books in total, four and two in taxation years 2013 and 2104, respectively, and this was in contrast to sale of 236 copies of high-end portfolio photography book in 2006. Minister reassessed taxpayer, for two taxpayer years, 2013 and 2014, challenging him on basis of existence of any business, business purpose of expenses and reasonableness of expenses for two taxation years. Taxpayer appealed. Appeal dismissed. Taxpayer produced no books or records reflecting receipts or expenses for photography endeavor, there was no business plan or other marketing materials beyond description of direct sales, on-site approach to museum curators and gallery owners and rudimentary website. All contracts were oral in nature, as presumably were invoices and receipts for payment. Gross revenue of undertaking never approached 10 per cent of expenses in more than decade of pursuit. There was no material evidence of commercial effort and there was personal nexus to taxpayer's photography endeavor.

Hurwitz v. The Queen (2020), 2020 CarswellNat 441, 2020 TCC 31, Randall S. Bocock J. (T.C.C. [Informal Procedure]).

Case Law is a weekly summary of notable civil and criminal court decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and all Ontario courts. These cases may be found online in WestlawNext Canada. To subscribe, please visit store.thomsonreuters.ca

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Enhanced access to justice needs more than lawyers and paralegals: report

Criminal Lawyers’ Association filling mentor-gap with new online educational series

OBA's taxation law section names first female chairperson, Angela Salvatore

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act to amend Justices of the Peace Act and Provincial Offences Act

OHRC tells Sudbury landlords they cannot discriminate based on receipt of public assistance

Windsor’s new associate dean to advance Indigenous law in legal education

Most Read Articles

Canadian Constitution Foundation suggests amendments to mandatory mask order in Ontario

Windsor’s new associate dean to advance Indigenous law in legal education

Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice embark on first phase of reopening

Patricia Kosseim shares her priorities as the new information and privacy commissioner