Federal Court of Appeal allows use of mark-to-market tax accounting

Taxpayers are entitled to use the mark-to-market method to compute income for federal tax purposes if it provides a more accurate picture of a taxpayer’s income, ruled the Federal Court of Appeal.

The federal appeal court decision bolsters the possibility for taxpayers to use methods to compute income  that are not forbidden by the Income Tax Act (Act), affirms Canada Revenue Agency’s administrative position that allows regulated financial institutions to tax derivatives on a mark-to-market basis, and may open the door to allow financial accounting to become more influential in determining what constitutes an acceptable method of computing income from business, according to tax experts.

“The case confirms that taxpayers are to determine profit for tax purposes on the basis that reflects an accurate picture of the taxpayer’s income,” said James Morand, a Toronto tax lawyer with Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. “If mark-to-market presents a truer picture of a taxpayer’s income than realization or some other method of computation, it is preferable.”

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