Canada: This man tested Canada's tax laws by moving in a canoe — and won - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada This man tested Canada's tax laws by moving in a canoe — and won

15:20  12 november  2019
15:20  12 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Taxation in Canada is a prerogative shared between the federal government and the various provincial and territorial legislatures. Under the Constitution Act, 1867, taxation powers are vested in the Parliament of Canada under s . 91(3)

After your first tax year in Canada , you are no longer considered a newcomer for income tax If you were a resident of Canada in an earlier year, and you are now a non-resident, you will be Underneath, enter your spouse or common- law partner' s net world income for the period you were a

A teacher who relocated for work by loading his belongings into a canoe and paddling up the Rideau Canal to Ottawa has convinced Canada's tax agency to cover his moving expenses.

John Konecny decided to test the limits of the Income Tax Act after a tax court judge disallowed his expense claims for his move from Whitby, Ont., to Ottawa in 2014.

For decades, Konecny had been moving annually between the two cities, teaching in southern Ontario during the regular academic school year and eastern Ontario during the summer.

Until five years ago, he'd also had his expenses covered. But when a lawyer suggested his attempts to seek reimbursement were "nearly treasonous," he vowed to fight.

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Canada Gazette. Learn about new and proposed statutes and regulations. Read decisions of boards and government notices. Find acts, regulations, statutes and documents about Canada ' s constitution. Laws and regulations by department or agency.

Information for individuals who leave Canada to settle in another country and who are considered emigrants for Information about your spouse or common- law partner. When you leave Canada to settle in another country, you usually become a non-resident for income tax purposes on the latest of

"I was on Parliament Hill the day the Queen and Pierre Trudeau signed the Constitution ... I'm a proud, obedient, tax-paying citizen," the 54-year-old said.

"At that point, I have to admit, I think I snapped."

a man standing on a bridge: John Konecny poses with his canoe paddle at Hog's Back Falls in Ottawa. The 54-year-old teacher believes he's the first Canadian to have successfully claimed expenses for moving by canoe since 1972. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation John Konecny poses with his canoe paddle at Hog's Back Falls in Ottawa. The 54-year-old teacher believes he's the first Canadian to have successfully claimed expenses for moving by canoe since 1972.

Was working vacation, judge said

As a young education graduate in the 1980s, Konecny had tried to get hired in his hometown by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.

Although the Toronto District School Board first offered the new teacher full-time employment, Ottawa's public board came through later in the year with an offer to teach summer classes.

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People just love moving to Canada , and Canada just loves having them over. There are laws enforced by the OQLF (basically the language police) to make sure everyone uses enough French. The winning entry came from Colonel George F. G. Stanley, with his simple red and white maple leaf

You are a factual resident of Canada for tax purposes if you keep significant residential ties in Canada while living or travelling outside the country. If you have established ties in a country that Canada has a tax treaty with and you are considered to be a sell your house in Canada . move your spouse or

Konecny said yes to both boards, keeping up the annual teaching cycle for three decades.

In 2014, however, the Canada Revenue Agency rejected his moving expenses of $1,400.

Konecny took it to tax court, where a judge scoffed at his claims, calling Konecny's annual travel to Ottawa not a "move" but merely a working vacation.

Not only did he lose the case, the fight over the $1,400 deduction had cost him $3,000 in court fees.

The loss stung.

"I guess my position with the government is, 'Don't allow me to do something repeatedly under the law and then tell me 20 years in that I'm not correct,'" he said.

'Could you move in a canoe?'

Though he had lost, the presiding judge did offer some guidance.

He told Konecny that each time he moved, he should update his driver's licence and banking information and take out magazine subscriptions — all to solidify the status of his residency.

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This won ’t cover the job/apartment-hunting/stuff- moving logistics that are common to any move This is not intended to e.g. argue that Canada ’ s immigration laws are fair or just, nor that a move to After a few years in Canada , you’ll be in a much better place to apply for permanent residence if you want

Many Americans joke that they want to move to Canada to escape the political circus. The government defines permanent residence as living in Canada for at least three years in a five-year period. Provide your income tax filing. Canadian Finance Blog.

Then, the justice challenged him.

"He was like, 'Mr. Konecny, could you move in a canoe?'" the teacher recalls.

Konecny replied he believed he could.

"Something in me said, 'Hey, he asked, [so] why don't I show him?'"

Something out of Monty Python

Konecny spent hours in law libraries, researching precedent-setting taxation decisions. In 2018, he set out to test the limits of the provisions in the Income Tax Act, planning a relocation-by-canoe that he called a "Monty-Python-esque farce."

After school on June 26, the teacher loaded food and clothes into a battered blue fibreglass canoe, along with a converted weed-wacker to use as propulsion.

He brought along a bicycle and a small trailer capable of towing his craft when waters became too rough, and he set out from the public docks in Whitby.

Konecny's move took him through five provincial parks, where he collected admission fee receipts, and up the Rideau Canal. He also kept receipts for three nights' worth of campfire wood, and several bags of ice to keep his food and his insulin cool.

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Welcome to Canada ! As you prepare for your move , here are the fundamental things you should know, from weather to taxes , and lots more. Under Canada ’ s decentralised federal system, taxes are levied at multiple levels. Income taxes are collected by both the federal and provincial governments.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories, and administers various social and economic benefit and incentive Tax -free savings accounts, registered savings plans, pooled pension plans, and plan administrators.

a small boat in a body of water: Konecny loaded up this fibreglass canoe with the belongings needed for his summer work in Ottawa and set out in 2018 from Whitby, Ont. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Konecny loaded up this fibreglass canoe with the belongings needed for his summer work in Ottawa and set out in 2018 from Whitby, Ont.

'Slightly unusual'

"This fellow did something slightly unusual in the selection of the mode of transportation," said Vern Krishna, a University of Ottawa tax law professor who wasn't surprised to see CRA accept the expense claims.

"But in principle, he's doing the exact same thing as the person who's going across the country in an automobile. He's just doing it on the cheap."

In the end, Konecny submitted claims totalling just under $1,000.

That's about what a professional moving company would have charged for the minimum billable weight for that distance, said Larry Kruger of McWilliams Moving & Storage Ltd. in Peterborough, Ont.

While moving-by-canoe was once commonplace in Canada, Kruger said he didn't think Konecny was likely to put companies like his out of work.

"I've been in the business 37 years and I've never heard of it. It's hilarious!"

Francois Brouard, an accounting professor with the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, said the Income Tax Act doesn't specify what kinds of vehicles are acceptable for a move.

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Nor does it precisely say what kinds of expenses will be considered "reasonable.

"Sometimes there's a grey zone," said Brouard.

a person sitting at a desk looking at a book: Francois Brouard, an accounting professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, said there are 'grey zones' in the Income Tax Act. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Francois Brouard, an accounting professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, said there are 'grey zones' in the Income Tax Act.

Planning his next move

Last week, Konecny learned Revenue Canada had accepted his expense claims.

His research suggests he may be the first person to have successfully claimed expenses for a move by canoe since the Income Tax Act underwent a major rewrite in 1972.

He's already trying to plan his next relocation.

"So my friends have suggested a really great move would be dog sled."

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