Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

So, the CRA finally sent back their assessment of how much we owe extra for 2008 and 2009.

We got them all the paperwork and receipts and all the other stuff they asked for in April 2011, and it was January before we got their reply.  Not that I mind, but that’s a long time to wait for what we KNEW was going to be bad news.

They claim, together over those two years, Susie and I actually made about $30,000 more than we said we did, combining income they say we didn’t report, and expenses claimed that they are disallowing.  To which I replied, “Wow! We’re richer than we think! Call Scotiabank!”

I jest.  But here are some of the things they disallowed: 
* unclaimed interest that we actually did claim
* insurance we paid for, for reasons I can’t figure out
* that whole bad debt thing from the client I sued? yeah, can’t claim that

Then it gets even more bizarre. They disallowed:
* us going to South by Southwest, the biggest Internet conference in the U.S. (“This appears to be a music festival.”)
* Susie going to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore where she was paid to lead a blogging training session (“Outside of your business geographic location”)
* us going to Boulder to work with our employee Justin (“No evidence that this trip was business related.”)

They also informed us that we (and anyone, really, they aren’t picking on us) can only claim two conferences a year according to tax law.  Any additional conferences are not tax deductible. It’s the LAW.

Now, I’m not going to badmouth the CRA here or talk too much about our rebuttals.  But I will say that this feels like the end product of a general attitude that the Canadian government seems to have overall: namely, that “work” is something best performed at a desk not at a home, 9-5 and not mixed in with other activites, and you should make Canadian things to sell to Canadian people, that travelling too much and participating in a global community of entrepreneurs and creators is discouraged, and that people who are one role in your life (wife, mother, brother-in-law) can’t possibly be also something else (business parter, client, employee) legitimately, without there being something “fishy” going on.

We’ll see what happens now.  First is a rebuttal with evidence and logic, then there’s an appeals process.  Stay tuned.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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