INTEREST DEDUCTIBILITY: Returns of Capital

In an April 20, 2018, Tax Court of Canada case, at issue was whether the taxpayer could deduct interest incurred in 2013, 2014 and 2015 related to $300,000 borrowed in 2007 to purchase mutual funds. From 2007-2015, the taxpayer received a return of capital from the funds, totalling $196,850 over the period. A return of capital is essentially a return of the taxpayer’s original investment. The taxpayer used some proceeds to reduce the loan principal, but the majority was used for personal purposes.

Taxpayer loses

The Court examined whether there was a sufficiently direct link between the borrowed money and its current use in respect of gaining or producing income from the investments.

As much of the returned capital was used for personal purposes, there was no longer a direct link to the income earning purpose. The Court upheld CRA’s denial of interest expense.

 

Action Item: Where funds are borrowed to invest, one may need to track any return of capital which is not reinvested to determine interest deductibility.

 

The preceding information is for educational purposes only. As it is impossible to include all situations, circumstances and exceptions in a newsletter such as this, a further review should be done by a qualified professional. No individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this letter accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents.

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