The Montreal courthouse is seen on March 27, 2019. A Quebec court judge has ruled against a law firm that tried to deduct the cost of a lavish wedding for the daughter of one of its lawyers as a business expense. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

The Montreal courthouse is seen on March 27, 2019. A Quebec court judge has ruled against a law firm that tried to deduct the cost of a lavish wedding for the daughter of one of its lawyers as a business expense. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Law firm can’t deduct wedding costs as a business expense, Quebec court finds

Spiegel Sohmer could not write off the $75,000 it reimbursed to lawyer Robert Raich, judge rules

A Quebec judge has ruled against a law firm that tried to deduct the cost of a lavish wedding for the daughter of one of its partners as a business expense.

Judge Daniel Bourgeois of Quebec court ruled last month that the firm Spiegel Sohmer could not write off the $75,000 it reimbursed to lawyer Robert Raich and that Raich needs to pay taxes on the amount as a benefit.

The decision states that Raich, a tax lawyer, had argued that he’d thrown the sumptuous Montreal wedding party for his daughter Jacqueline in part to strengthen ties with the firm’s clients. His daughter testified that she hardly knew or didn’t know at all the business associates invited by her father.

“The marriage took place in Montreal because, (Raich) said, he wanted mainly to promote the interests of Spiegel Sohmer and demonstrate his appreciation to his clients and business associates,” the Jan. 15 decision said, noting that the daughter and her groom lived in the United States.

Raich claimed nearly half the cost of the $169,000 wedding on a firm expense account, reasoning that 97 of the 218 guests were his clients or business associates. The firm reimbursed him the $75,242 he sought, and claimed the amount on its 2012 tax filing.

Revenue Quebec took issue with the deduction and refused it on the basis that a wedding is clearly personal in nature.

Bourgeois agreed, noting that family events are generally considered to be personal, and that Raich failed to provide convincing evidence to prove the wedding was an exception.

“Despite the audacity displayed by Mr. Raich during his testimony, he did not in any way affect the presumption of validity of the assessments issued by Revenue Quebec,” the judgment read.

Furthermore, nobody from Spiegel Sohmer testified at trial to support the lawyer’s claims or prove the event represented a significant business opportunity, indicating a “certain lack of interest” in their former managing partner’s tax challenge, Bourgeois wrote.

His decision upheld the revenue agency’s tax assessment for the firm, as well as the decision to consider the reimbursement as a taxable benefit to Raich.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawn Low first moved “upstairs” to the administrative department of the City of Revelstoke in 2009. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: 120 years later, first female CAO appointed in Revelstoke

International Women’s Day was first celebrated on March 19, 1911, in Austria,… Continue reading

Glenalee Berarducci Zooms with her daughter Deanne in Kenya. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: one Revelstoke woman shows the power of parental support

Glenalee Berarducci is a pillar of help for her children

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

It's tick season in South Okanagan.
Tick season has started in South Okanagan

A Penticton adventure company collected 200 ticks last year to be studied for Lyme Disease

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project would twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden. ~ Photo by B.C. Ministry of Transportation
Additional closures announced to Trans-Canada east of Golden

Additional closures will be needed in May as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Black Press Media file photo)
COSAR called to rescue missing skier near Big White

Fortunately, the skier found his way out of the area

Granfondo is going ahead in Penticton this September. (Western file photo)
Granfondo is a go in Penticton

Axel Merckx pushed the event to September in hopes of a ‘full Fondo experience’

Most Read