A while back, I wrote an article about tax auditors not knowing your business.  In today’s post, we will look at the CRA’s appeal department’s knowledge of the restaurant business.  I wish I could say that Appeals Officers are better equipped to deal with restaurant tax audit issues, but I can’t. Continue Reading »


A little while back, I was the main source for an article in a Globe and Mail about the taxation of tips in Canada.  I’ve written about taxing tips before, here and here.  In this post, I’ll give an update and discuss two problem areas that most restaurateurs need to know about. Continue Reading »

I'll be needing one of your legs as well cartoon

A restaurateur approached me just after he had received notice that his bar was going to be reassessed for HST on unreported sales.  This was a fairly typical situation that many bar and restaurants find themselves in after an audit.  There is always a way to “fight” or appeal these cases, at least in part.  So, I took the case. Continue Reading »

He’s Back!

Well, I am back.  I have been away for quite a while but not without good reasons.

I’ve been working on a number of restaurant tax appeals (all successful), and I will be writing about the interesting aspects of those cases.  Also, I’ve taken a number of professional development courses through Coursera, an organisation that provides University level on-line courses.  These courses included:  statistics, business analytics, machine learning, data science, linear algebra, analytical models, and computer programming, along with a few personal interest courses, such as behavioural economics and the Crash of 2008.

My hope is that I will be able to apply the concepts learned to develop data products that will help people and businesses make better decisions.

If you have not tried any of these Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs), I highly recommend them.  I have found them to be of exceptional quality, both in content and presentation.  While they may not have quite the depth of in-person University courses, they certainly provide a strong base for you to conduct further learning.

That’s it for now.  I will be posting about interesting developments in the area of restaurant tax audits soon!


I started writing this blog in September, 2009.  At that time, there was very little useful information about restaurant tax audits in Canada (or anywhere).  In the 42 articles that I have written so far, I have tried to fill this gap with practical information geared towards restaurateurs.  Based on the comments I’ve received from a number of readers, I think I have succeeded.  There still isn’t much useful information about restaurant tax audits, other than what you will find in this blog.  That’s a shame, but it keeps me motivated to continue helping as many restaurateurs as I can.

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It was kind of fun trying to come up with a decent headline for today’s article.  Tips are in the news a lot, lately.  Servers, and others who receive tips, don’t like handing out a portion of their tips to other co-workers and especially not to the “house” (management).  Now, we find that they don’t like “tipping out” to the big house, either!  It’s not like we didn’t know this, but apparently, the CRA is just starting to take notice!

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A few months ago, Dining Date Night began offering customers a 30% discount at various restaurants in Toronto.  In order to get the discount, a customer books a reservation on a website and pays a $10 fee to Dining Date Night.  When the customer visits the restaurant, 30% of the total bill (before taxes) is deducted as a discount.  This type of promotion is relatively good for both the consumer and the restaurant that provides the discount, because the restaurant can restrict the hours when reservations may be taken.

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