Judge rejects CRA’s expense denial in sweet music to taxpayer’s ears

Jamie Golombek: Can a mother or father’s bills to assist their youngster’s profession ever be tax deductible? On this Tax Court docket case, the reply was sure

Article content material

Many mother and father encourage their children to pursue their ardour, particularly in the event that they present expertise at a younger age in the direction of a specific endeavour, however different mother and father might go means past mere encouragement and dig deep into their very own pockets to financially help a toddler as they launch their profession.

This begs a query: Can a mother or father’s bills to assist their youngster’s profession ever be tax deductible? A current tax case dealt exactly with this concern.

Commercial 2

Article content material

Article content material

The case concerned a taxpayer who has a “musically proficient daughter.” The taxpayer selected to make use of each his enterprise administration and contract negotiation expertise to assist handle his daughter’s inventive profession. The 2 of them entered a “private administration contract” during which the daddy would initially incur varied bills in return for receiving a fee if his daughter ended up signing with a significant report label.

In 2017, the taxpayer claimed $52,046 in “enterprise bills” regarding managing his daughter’s profession. The Canada Income Company, nonetheless, wasn’t satisfied the taxpayer was really within the enterprise of artist administration, so it disallowed his expense deductions. The taxpayer appealed the matter to the Tax Court docket, which launched its resolution earlier this month.

By means of background, the taxpayer started working in gross sales after highschool and was employed for a number of years as an account supervisor at a global cash switch firm. That job led to a senior alternative with a cheque-cashing agency that, on the time, had three retail places. He grew to become a shareholder and director of the enterprise, and helped it develop till it was offered to a publicly traded U.S. firm. He has been with that firm for 22 years, and is at present the vice-president of actual property, a job that requires him to barter contracts and leases, in addition to do all the corporate’s website choice. He described himself in courtroom as “an entrepreneur at coronary heart.”

Article content material

Commercial 3

Article content material

The taxpayer’s daughter is a singer/songwriter. When she was first beginning out, one of many judges at a expertise present let her know that he want to work along with her. The taxpayer negotiated a contract with this choose, which led to his daughter recording an unreleased album that was produced by this particular person at an Ontario studio.

To facilitate the tax and enterprise aspect of issues, the taxpayer employed an accountant who was additionally a musician and had contacts within the music trade to help and advise him. With the accountant’s assist, the taxpayer ready a private administration contract that mentioned (amongst different issues) that he would obtain a five- or 10-per-cent fee if his daughter achieved a significant milestone, equivalent to signing with a significant report label, whereas below his administration. The settlement mentioned that if not one of the milestones had been met inside 5 years, she may terminate the contract.

In 2017, father and daughter started to work on establishing a community of trade contacts. That 12 months, he was launched to a Nashville producer, who launched them to different music folks in that metropolis. The taxpayer testified that in late 2017, he and his daughter determined to remain in Nashville to work with the producer on a brand new album.

Commercial 4

Article content material

Most of 2017 was spent recording music demos, negotiating the phrases and situations for producing the album, travelling to Nashville, capturing the album cowl and doing social media to extend his daughter’s profile. He described the method as “labour-intensive” and “nearly cost-prohibitive” initially as a result of it took practically two years to provide and grasp the album.

They introduced the album again to Canada and shopped it round to “blended evaluations.” In 2019, they met a producer who owned a Toronto report label and signed an settlement that gave the corporate possession rights over his daughter’s music, together with the unique proper to distribute grasp recordings and to concern remixes of songs to revive curiosity in them. His daughter did obtain some royalties for one track that was performed on the radio in 2016.

The difficulty earlier than the courtroom was whether or not the taxpayer had a “supply of earnings,” particularly, a real business enterprise. As in prior circumstances, the choose turned to a seminal Supreme Court docket of Canada resolution that discovered the start line was to establish whether or not a taxpayer’s exercise was undertaken in “pursuit of revenue” or was private. The place there’s a private factor, the exercise will need to have a ample diploma of “commerciality” to be thought-about a supply of earnings.

Commercial 5

Article content material

In figuring out whether or not a taxpayer is carrying on an exercise in a sufficiently business method, the listing of things to be thought-about embrace: revenue and loss skilled in previous years; the taxpayer’s coaching; the taxpayer’s meant plan of action; and the potential of the exercise to point out a revenue.

The choose reviewed the info of the case, noting there was clearly a private factor concerned as a result of the artist being managed was the taxpayer’s daughter. Due to this fact, the important thing query was whether or not the exercise was carried on in a sufficiently business method in order to be a supply of earnings.

The choose dominated it was, noting the taxpayer’s prior entrepreneurial success in rising a enterprise in addition to his deep expertise negotiating contracts. It appeared logical, subsequently, that the taxpayer would enter a contractual association along with his daughter to make use of his ability set to assist advance her profession. The taxpayer additionally demonstrated his skilled intent by partaking an accountant with an understanding of the music trade.

Commercial 6

Article content material

“Placing apart the unpredictability of the music trade when it comes to whether or not an artist achieves success, the radio play of (her) songs, royalties obtained, and the continuing curiosity of music producers to work along with her exhibit that the exercise is able to exhibiting a revenue,” the choose mentioned. “The (taxpayer) carried on his exercise of artist administration in a sufficiently business method in order to be a supply of enterprise earnings.”

In consequence, the taxpayer’s enterprise bills for 2017 had been deemed to be correctly tax deductible.

Jamie Golombek, CPA, CA, CFP, CLU, TEP, is the managing director, Tax & Property Planning with CIBC Personal Wealth in Toronto. Jamie.Golombek@cibc.com.

For those who appreciated this story, join extra within the FP Investor publication.

Bookmark our web site and help our journalism: Don’t miss the enterprise information you could know — add financialpost.com to your bookmarks and join our newsletters right here.

Article content material


Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the positioning. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We now have enabled e-mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e-mail when you obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Go to our Neighborhood Tips for extra data and particulars on how you can alter your e-mail settings.

Be a part of the Dialog