Giuseppe Tarascio, a Toronto man, is a Bell Canada employee by day and professional gambler by night. In the past, he has tried to write off his gambling losses as business expenses; however, a refusal by Revenue Canada has forced Tarascio to take the government to court over the matter.
According to a report in The National Post, Tarascio claims that gambling is his life’s goal – his calling, if you will. However, it does not seem to be working out very well in his favour. From 1999 to 2001, his gambling losses totalled nearly $190 000. Over the course of those three years, Tarascio successfully filed his losses as business expenses.
It wasn’t until 2003 that Revenue Canada discovered that something was amiss. He attempted to file for $40 000 in business expenses in 2002 and $55 000 in 2003. His claims were rejected this time around, and Tarascio was not pleased with the result.
After filing a complaint with officials at Revenue Canada, he took his case to the Tax Court of Canada. Unfortunately for him, the case was thrown out, arguing that gambling is not a commercially-reasonable business. He continued to fight, however, taking his case to the Federal Court, where – once again – Tarascio was told his gambling losses would not count as business expenses.
Over the years, many professional and recreational gamblers have taken the government and Revenue Canada to court over similar matters. All cases resulted in outcomes like Tarascio’s; so, he should have considered doing some research before taking his case to court.