Two Minute Tax Tips

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Commuting costs for self-employed consultants

Q: I am a self-employed consultant and I travel to and from my work via Uber, Lyft or taxi most days. Can I write off the cost of these services as a business expense? If I take my own car, can I write off motor vehicle expenses? A: The answer depends on whether or not [...]

Principal Residence: House vs Cottage

How to choose and why it matters The Principal Residence Exemption allows Canadian taxpayers to avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of a principal residence. To be considered the Principal Residence, a residential property must be ‘regularly occupied’ by the owner at some point during the year. If someone owns two residences and [...]

Choosing the $400 Work-From-Home deduction vs self-employment business-use-of-home

Covid-19 changed everything, including changes to taxes for the 2020 tax year. Now that Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is offering a small Work-From-Home (WFH) deduction for salaried people, self-employed Canadians have questions. Specifically, people who have always deducted business-use-of-home (BUH) as part of self-employment and who also have salaried (T4) jobs they did from home [...]

Business Deductions: The Reasonable Expectation of Profit

Business owners, freelancers and self-employed people have many questions about what they can and can't write off for their taxes. This is a potentially endless topic. There are an infinite number of possible businesses, with an infinite number of ways they can be run; meaning there are an infinite number of potential business deductions. The [...]

Foreign Property Worth Over $100,000 CAD

 In the last few years you have probably noticed a question on your Canadian income tax return asking if you owned any foreign property: "Did you own or hold specified foreign property where the total cost amount of all such property at any time, in the tax year, was more than $100,000 CAD?" What [...]

No Good Deed Goes Untaxed

Parents want the best for their kids, and that often extends to giving away some of their assets in order to help their adult children get established in life. But while Canadian tax law renders gifts exempt from tax for the receiver, they can be taxable for the giver due to rules around capital gains. [...]

All About CRA Matching

It’s a little-known fact that when CRA first receives an income tax return and sends the taxpayer a Notice of Assessment, they do little to no review of what is actually in that tax return. Unless your return has been selected for a pre-assessment review, for the most part CRA just goes along with whatever [...]

Why Do I Owe Income Tax?

It's a terrible experience: you go to your tax preparer with your hopes high, and you get handed an income tax bill. It's even worse when your income has dropped in the past year, or was modest or even low. How can you owe tax? The problem is that an income tax bill isn't necessarily [...]

How much GST or HST should I charge? – GST and HST rates by province

When you are registered to collect GST or HST and make a sale of goods or services to payer in another province, you must charge the rate of GST or HST according to the rate in the payer's province. For example, if you are a vendor based in Ontario and registered to collect HST, [...]

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