VN:R_U [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Toronto resident, Giuseppe Tarascio, has lost his audacious attempt at having all his gambling losses written off against his income tax bill. The final court decision was made by the Federal Court of Appeal, after Tarascio lost his initial case in tax court. His chief motivation for wanting to pursue the case was that he viewed his gambling as being his main line of income, even though by day he held a position as a technician with Bell Canada.

For several years Giuseppe had declared both his income and losses from gambling in his tax returns, even providing evidence of this in court from his 2002 and 2003 returns.

As transparent as he was, it would not fly with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) who on closer inspection promptly disallowed the deductions. This is when Tarascio sought to win through legal channels when he first went to tax court. The court found in favor of the CRA, but being ever tenacious he decided to pursue his case further through the appeals court.

There he presented evidence trying to establish to the court that due to his systematic methods of gambling using his mathematics and probability theory background, he had the necessary requirements to register his gambling as a business.

With only his bookkeeping around his losses and winnings to show, the court of appeal upheld the original ruling of the tax court. Their reasons being that they did not see his gambling as systematic and the fact that he invested no time in practising and further developing his skills.

A tax law lecturer at the University of Western Ontario, Colin Campbell, confirmed that gambling losses can only be considered a write-off if it’s a commercial activity and not a personal one. Historically, courts have found that gambling is in large a personal activity.

Not having the financial means to take the case further to the Supreme Court, Tarascio has accepted the ruling.