Beauregard et al. v. R. – TCC: Taxpayers Largely Successful in Deducting Costs of Real Estate Development

Bill Innes on Current Tax Cases New Window

Beauregard et al. v. The Queen[1] (September 20, 2013) involved expenses claimed by the taxpayers in connection with land that they purchased for the purposes of development. The expenses in question were as follows:

2007 2008
Interest Fees
$6726 -
Delivery and Transportation Costs
$284 -
Management and Administration Costs     
$80 $228
Eligible capital expenditure deduction $5145 -
Member Fees
$2518 $2150
Property Taxes
$2400 $1069
Advertising $180 $103
Maintaining and Repair Fees
$900 $651
Professional Fees
Supplies $1079 -
TOTAL $23 989    
$12 838
Male Appellant's Share (50%)
$11 995 $6420

The taxpayers admitted that the eligible capital expenditure deduction and the member fees were errors and should not have been claimed.  The crown claimed nothing was deductible since there was no source of income as the property was never developed and was resold shortly after it was purchased.

The court accepted the taxpayers’ position:

[22]        Based on the testimonies of Mr. Beauregard and Ms. Pelchat, I do not believe that the sole purpose of the acquisition of the land was a subsequent sale of the property. In my view, the appellants truly intended to build and operate an office building. When the appellants realized they could not find tenants and that, without tenants, they could not obtain funding for the building’s construction costs, they had no alternative but to sell the land less than twenty (20) months after having acquired it. In such a context, it should be considered that the purchase and subsequent sale of the land amounted at the very least to an adventure or concern in the nature of trade. The lack of financial resources and the start of an economic recession led the appellants to setting a new intention, that is, the sale of the land, and abandoning their initial intention.

[1] 2013 TCC 287.