National Post


This week, we learned that U.S. President Donald Trump paid only US$750 in federal income taxes for 2016 and 2017, and no personal income taxes whatsoever in 10 of the last 15 years. But the revelation that he deducted US$70,000 for the cost of his haircuts and hairstyling for appearing on The Apprentice has some taxpayers scratching their heads wondering whether personal grooming, along with a variety of other personal expenses, can ever be legitimately tax deductible.

Personal expenses

The Income Tax Act imposes very strict rules when it comes to the deductibility of business expenses. It states that “no deduction shall be made in respect of an outlay or expense except to the extent that it was made or incurred by the taxpayer for the purpose of gaining or producing income from the business.” Furthermore, it specifically states that “personal or living expenses of the taxpayer, other than travel expenses incurred by the taxpayer while away from home in the course of carrying on the taxpayer’s business” are not deductible.