“This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions.”
to make this forum community degraded, and less helpful by assisting in filling it up with NON-Taxcycle users posts, asking basic “free-tax” questions?
Perhaps removal from the crawlers would return it to the superior quality it had in the beginning?
For example, google search:
Stated aim and purpose of the forum:
“This community exists as a place for accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers to discuss topics related to Canadian tax returns.”
Notice the absence of reference to “General public “doing their own google research” with no knowledge of tax law whatsoever and who have never heard of the Income Tax Act nor Debits and Credits”
It is public only in the sense that the public can read and register for it. Otherwise it is privately hosted at the sole behest of TaxCycle and its management team. Professionals discussing tax on this site are (generally) thoughtful about queries and responses and are mostly versed enough in nuance to deal with complex questions.
Anyone in the public taking what is shared here as “gold” is a fool. Any practitioner doing the same is likely experienced enough to know how to shape their due diligence around the actual work they’re doing.
TC could, if they wished, open a “practitioners-only” section and limit it to users of the software. That would keep the possibility open for potential users to query actual software usage issues in a portion of the forum. Public tax queries could be in a segmented area where practitioners could - but do not need to - respond.
And, for what its worth - no practitioner of tax needs to respond to ANY of the tax queries here, but we do so out of collegial assistance generally. We all started somewhere. Some of that includes educating the public.
But again, there is NO requirement for anyone to respond to a given query at all.
(From my own experience about 95% of what’s on here is in my kind of practice ballpark, but some is rare or esoteric/issue specific enough that I read through and just say “Hmmmm” and file it away in my brain for future referral if need be.)
“It is public only in the sense that the public can read and register for it”
Not quite accurate…
It is PUBLIC in the sense that enter a term from a post here in GOOGLE SEARCH, and it pops up as the first hit…
EVERY SINGLE WORD written here is effectively recorded and broadcast worldwide by google search…
Last I checked, Google is a member of the public.
So what if they index it? (There are other places to have professional and technical conversations about tax, mostly off search engines.)
I personally like this forum and find it useful…and yes, sometimes the public “sneaks in” and asks questions that they should go to advisors for. But that’s the way of it. Don’t answer 'em if you don’t like it.
Personally, I believe it irresponsible to give answers geared for one population which is almost certainly guaranteed to be misunderstood by another population, since these matters are real legal matters, with real legal consequences.
Therefore, personally, I will henceforth be withholding any “advice” that gets posted to google search engines.
This forum is/was not a generic “Reddit” forum, or “flat earth society forum”, but now it is getting closer to emulating one…
Non-professional (and most definitely non-taxcycle) questions are now being asked, and when given the correct professional answer, the question-asker promptly disagrees and insults the question-answerer if it is not an answer that they were hoping for.
I agree with @joe.justjoe1
Personally I think this forum should be restricted to users of TaxCycle. I believe an exception can be made for those test driving the program, but after their trial expires so should their participation in this forum. I am getting a bit tired of people just quickly registering and asking tax based questions who are neither a Tax Preparer or a user of TaxCycle, it clogs up the forum and some people are just not understanding the answer provided.
Honestly if I wanted to have a lot of this crap, I would join a Turbo Tax forum.
Completely agree SmallBizGuy
I too like this forum and find it useful.
I personally do ignore the completely daft questions that are posed by people that are obviously not in the business.
Problem is it does, as Joe puts it, degrade the forum.
@joe.justjoe1 - Have you ever considered starting your own private forum?
I once heard another accountant say he was part of an online group of accountants and that members had to ask to join and be approved. This would give you complete control in deciding who is able to join and stay a member.
Just throwing it out there but this may solve your problems.
The name of this site is ProTaxCommunity.com.
Presumably the “Pro” is short form for Professional.
definition of professional:
1.relating to or belonging to a profession.
2.engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
Joe is a valuable addition to this forum. Even though he can be a pain in the neck we definitely don’t want him to leave.
Technically Joe is basically always correct. And we need that.
I think that he sometimes he goes too far. Take business use of residence allowance for example. Technically Joe is correct that the ITA doesn’t say you can take it. But everyone except Joe allows for it. What to do, what to do.
There is such a thing as lex non scripta . If it is reasonable, especially when a proprietor can claim it, it seems that it is unreasonable we can’t do it in a corporation.
The reverse is true as well. Written laws are sometimes ignored or abolished by custom.
Since in my 20+ years we have NEVER been questioned on audit about business use of residence, I think it is safe to say you should claim it.
Joe is going to counter that you should setup a rental agreement. Of course, he would be right again.
My concern is being right, in theory, is not directly correlated to being right in the application.
I think the issue with the example you brought up…
Is that if someone on the internet via google finds the post and reads comments against taking the reasonable allowance and consequently doesn’t take it for their client where does that leave them? Will the client retain that accountant if they later find out the reasonable allowance was not taken?
I think you just made Joe’s point.
You don’t make decisions because you find it on the internet though…
“Even though he can be a pain in the neck”
Perhaps more accurately, people don’t like the “Income Tax Act” to inconveniently interfere with their desires, and find that a “pain in the neck” …
Now excuse me, I have to go and give all the little Corporations their breakfasts in the kitchen of their very own little Principal Residences… which they are squatting in…
"You don’t make decisions because you find it on the internet though…
Professionals would not…
However, People who “do their own research” on the internet do …
I would say that your comment also illustrates my point…
We’re not really discussing deductibility of a corp’s OIH are we?
The ITA is not (always) a “prescriptive” list of allowable amounts. There are cases where it is (eg medical expenses, more or less) and places where it is not (eg business expenses).
S.18(1) et seq and S.67 set out the general rules for deductibility…but basically these are a limitation on what may NOT be claimed. (there are other sections that do so as well, but these are examples).
But nowhere in the ITA is there verbiage expressly allowing - or denying - an “office in the home” deduction.
A quick case search reveals that this has been considered, at least at the TCC level in 2007TCC54, and was allowed. (Oddly, it might be the only time considered? I just did a quickie search.)
Common practice, as @rein observed, is that it is both allowable, and allowed generally, as long as the offsetting income (net of allowable expenses) is reported in the homeowners’ hands.
That distinction may well be lost on non-professionals, but anyone practicing tax at any level should be clear on that.
The general public? Well, that is a totally different matter as I’ve said before. Nuance and application of specific facts is not their jam. They’re just looking for quick, easy answers and that’s fine. If they don’t contact a pro…darn.
Or are we all just super-grumpy?
You’re also missing the legal point…