Client was a resident of Nova Scotia from January of 2020, where she rented a dwelling until August.
She moved to Ontario in June 2020 where she also rented a dwelling as principal residence (driver’s licence etc…were updated to ON) but kept renting her dwelling in Nova Scotia from June to August for the following reason:
In need of oncology treatments until August, she reasoned it would be a comfortable and cost effective way for recuperating from treatment for a few days. There was also the issue of her not wanting to disrupt the sequence of treatments, as discussed with oncology team in Nova Scotia, which would have been a possibility if such treatments were transferred to a local hospital in Ontario, already overburden with the Covid-19 situation.
Understandably, for moral support, she also wanted to be closer to daughter here in ON, where she presently resides.
She made several trips from ON to NS ( approx. 3 days each) between June and August where her treatments were completed.
Taking into account CRA’s link above, could her trips from On to NS for treatments, be considered "reasonnable under the circumstances to travel to that place for those medical services"
I have heard of cases where CRA allowed medical travel for services that were available in the taxpayer’s (local) area, but wait times were unreasonable. I believe, in one case, the travel was to Mexico. As such, I think you could make a case that your client’s travel was reasonable. But, of course, I would expect CRA to challenge this, so ensure your client is prepared to defend that position…
Gosh, Ontario must be a really disastrous place to try to get medical help…
It would seem to me that your biggest problem is in establishing that there are no hospitals or facilities in Ontario…
"to a person engaged in the business of providing transportation services, to the extent that…
…if (iii) substantially equivalent medical services are not available in that locality…"
However, 2020 was not a normal year, so I suppose you could argue that Covid removed Ontario hospitals from availability, leaving only Nova Scotia hospitals - but is there evidence that Ontario treatment was attempted, and that the nearest facility was all the way over in Nova Scotia?
IMHO, a very tough sell. She may have chosen to do that, but was she forced to do that?
We have an excellent cancer treatment centre here close by; and yes as per S118.2(2)g she would have continued treatments here …under NORMAL situations.
However, after discussion with her physicians in NS, they strongly recommended to finish the treatments there. (from June - August).
I suppose they (physicians) did their homework and communicated with our centre(s) here for availability and treatment specifics etc… before making their recommendation.
She does have the paper copy for treatment schedule from them which she observed.
From August to Sept. she did receive the remainder of treatments here locally and I made the claims accordingly.
All in all, there were 3 trips to NS.
It understand and agree with you … from a legal point of view… but
sometimes, one has to stand up and challenge. (that’s what lawyers are for)
If you’re asking me if I would make the claim under this unique situation … Damn right I would.
I’m ready (and so is she) for a battle with CRA … should the situation arise. Though sell … maybe. But so am I.