Clergy Residence Deduction for Disabled Clergy

May 1, 2010 | Robert B. Hayhoe

The Income Tax Act provides a tax deduction from the income of a member of the clergy from office or employment equal to the value of the individual’s housing if the individual meets a status and function test.  The deduction is framed as only an employment income deduction.  As a result, the CRA has had a relatively restrictive approach of denying the deduction to clergy receiving disability income if the disability income is provided by a disability insurer (since that income is not remuneration for employment).

Justice Woods of the Tax Court of Canada rejected CRA’s approach in Connie Shaw v. The Queen in April 2010.  Connie Shaw had been employed as a correctional chaplain until 2002 when she began an extended sick leave and started to receive benefits from an insurer.  The CRA denied her clergy residence deduction and she appealed. The Tax Court concluded that the CRA’s approach was too restrictive.  As a result, it appears that disabled clergy are now able to continue claiming a clergy residence deduction even if in receipt of insurance payments.  [As of the publication date of this newsletter, no appeal or application for extension of time to institute an appeal has been filed in the Federal Court of Appeal.]


This publication is provided as an information service and may include items reported from other sources. We do not warrant its accuracy. This information is not meant as legal opinion or advice.

Miller Thomson LLP uses your contact information to send you information electronically on legal topics, seminars, and firm events that may be of interest to you. If you have any questions about our information practices or obligations under Canada's anti-spam laws, please contact us at

© 2023 Miller Thomson LLP. This publication may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety provided no alterations are made to the form or content. Any other form of reproduction or distribution requires the prior written consent of Miller Thomson LLP which may be requested by contacting