1717398 Ontario Inc. O/A Lost Forest Park v. R. – TCC: Corporate income did not meet the threshold to qualify for small business deduction


1717398 Ontario Inc. O/A Lost Forest Park v. The Queen (August 29, 2019 – 2019 TCC 183, Smith J.).

Précis:  The taxpayer operated a RV/Mobile Home campsite from April to October and, for a fee, campers could keep their RV/Mobile Home on site during the off-season.  The taxpayer earned campsite fees, storage fees and, later, fees as a dealer of mobile units.  The Court found that the campsite activity did not cross the threshold from property income to income from the provision of services.  As a result, the taxpayer was a specified investment business (SIB) not entitled to the small business deduction (SBD). The appeal was therefore dismissed with costs.

Decision:   This case simply boiled down to the fact that there was insufficient evidence of activity in connection with the campsite to permit the Court to characterize the corporate income as income from the provision of services:

[41]  In the end, I find that the services and amenities offered by the Appellant were not sufficient to reach the “tipping point where the provision of services overcomes the provision of property” (See 0742443 B.C. Ltd, supra).

[42]  I am not satisfied that the services provided by the Appellant, including limited event planning, garbage pick-up, office hours and “on-call” availability, changed the legal character of the income to something other than that of rental income contemplated by the definition of a SIB in subsection 125(7).

[43]  The duration of the occupancy agreements in particular (seasonal and extended seasonal vs. daily or weekly) suggest quite clearly that the principal purpose of the business was to derive rental income. As noted above, it is difficult to distinguish these facts from the decisions of Weaver and Lee.

[44]  Having concluded that the Appellant’s principal purpose was to earn income from property in the form of rental income, its business activities fall under the definition of a SIB and it is not entitled to the SBD.

[45]  The appeal is therefore dismissed with costs to the Respondent.