Testimony in the trial of suspended Conservative Senator Mike Duffy began last week, and his defence lawyer has been using the Income Tax Act to help exonerate his client.
Duffy, who was appointed in 2009 to represent PEI, faces 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery, 18 of which deal with travel claims in which Duffy said he was on Senate business. The Crown has alleged Duffy attended to personal matters and went to partisan events on the public dime. Also at issue is whether Duffy’s primary residence is in PEI or Ottawa — and whether he was eligible to be appointed an East Coast Senator at all.
In three days of cross-examination, Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, has used Senate guidelines, provincial rules and the Income Tax Act to argue that the guidelines about residency, and public spending, are foggy.
Don’t let your clients get caught in a primary residence tax trap.
For more on the Duffy trial, visit Macleans.ca.