Can you really?

Speed LimitThink of your local highway.
What’s the speed limit? 80 K? 100 maybe?
Ever drive above that? 110, maybe 120 K?
Yeah, we all do.

Know anyone who always exceeds the limit, maybe drives 130 or 140K?
Know anyone who does that yet never gets caught speeding? Not even once?
So does that make driving above the speed limit OK? Does it mean we’re all actually allowed to drive above the limit?
The answer, of course, is “No.”

Okay, now think about your tax return.
If anyone says to you, “Yeah I deduct my golf club membership, been doing it for years.
Does that mean you’re allowed to?
If someone tells you, “Yep, I put some advertising on the side of my car, and then deduct all of the operating costs, CRA never said anything.
Does that mean you can too?
If someone advises you, “Sure take the family out for dinner, claim it as a business expense, I always do it.
Should you do it too?

Same answer as before, right?

Speeding or claiming bogus expenses, they’re the same thing.
If someone does it all the time, it doesn’t mean they’re allowed to. It just means they haven’t been caught.

I tell people CRA is like a sleeping shark.
You can swim right by it, a bunch of times. You can wave your hands in front of it. You can do somersaults before its closed eyes. And, if you’re brave enough, you might even try poking it. Just a little.
And, maybe—just maybe—it’ll be okay. The shark won’t even open its eyes.

But if it ever does wake up.
And if it sees you doing things you shouldn’t be doing.
Ain’t no one going to be bragging about anything anymore.

Take my advice. Don’t listen to those sure-I-do-it-all-the-time people.
Don’t wake up the shark.