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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in GST/HST Assessments

Posted by on in Tax Law

We have blogged here and here about the real estate projects that the CRA is currently working on, usually resulting in assessments of GST/HST on sales of renovated homes or short-term rental housing.

In a recent Tax Court case involving Cheema, the CRA was permitted to open up statue-barred periods in order to assess a homeowner for taxable income generated from a short-term purchase and resale of a house in Calgary.  This case serves as a warning for taxpayers in similar situations: treating housing like “inventory” to produce gains will result in CRA assessments even many years later, making Voluntary Disclosures the only viable strategy for addressing past exposure.

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Posted by on in Tax Law

As a tax lawyer assisting clients in defending themselves against the all-powerful CRA (and its equally powerful ally, the Department of Justice – Canada’s largest and best-equipped law firm), I welcome any judicial decisions that help to right that power imbalance. 

Justice Patrick Boyle’s recent decision in Frigorific Warehouse is an exceptional attempt at addressing an inherent problem with Canada’s GST/HST system, which lacks proper mechanisms to deal with tax rogues who gain access to the CRA’s registration system to charge, collect and abscond with GST/HST funds from unsuspecting Canadian businesses. The CRA’s traditional position has been to attempt to recover the lost GST/HST from these unsuspecting businesses (by denying them input tax credits – “ITCs”). Justice Boyle’s decision seems to put that ability into serious question!

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When a specialty tax practice like our own, focussed on GST/HST and other indirect taxes, sees a plethora of inquiries from homeowners being either assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) on the sale of their homes, or threatened with such assessments, we know that something is up!

As we have previously written, the CRA continues targeting residential homeowners. Specifically, those who have sold their home in a short period of time after: (1) substantially renovating; or (2) commissioning the construction of a new home for their own use.

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As we initially described here, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) continues auditing and assessing individual home-owners who have either substantially re-built their homes or commissioned the construction of a new home for their own use on the resale value of those homes in a number of alarming instances.

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The Tax Court of Canada recently released its decision in Windsor Elms Village for Continuing Care Society v. The King (2023 TCC 58), which dealt with the application of the GST/HST self-supply rules to a long-term care facility for seniors. The decision illustrates the complexity of the self-supply rules under the Excise Tax Act (“ETA”), especially in the context of mixed use or exempt use real estate transactions.

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