Guide to CRA-Approved Tax Deductions in Canada

So you know the taxes you need to collect and pay out, but do you know what deductions could help you save money? In this article, we’ll outline some of the most common Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) approved tax deductions for small businesses.

Keep in mind that the following are general guidelines and may not apply to every business. It’s always best to consult with a tax expert or accountant to ensure you take advantage of all your eligible deductions.

Common Small Business Tax Deductions

  1. Business Use of Home – If you operate your business from a room in your home, you may be eligible to claim part of your home-related costs, such as rent, utilities, and insurance. To calculate this amount, determine the portion of your home used only for business purposes and their corresponding costs.
  2. Vehicle Expenses – If you use your vehicle for business purposes, you may be able to deduct a portion of your operating expenses, such as gas, maintenance, and insurance. To assess this amount, you must keep detailed records of business-related travel and determine the percentage of vehicle costs directly related to your business.
  3. Advertising and Promotion – This includes any expenses related to advertising and promoting your business. You can deduct fees from brochures, business cards, social media advertising, website development, and so on.
  4. Office Supplies – This category covers the expenses needed to run your business. For example, medication if you are a vet, cleaning supplies if you are a plumber, and household supplies if you run a childcare facility.
  5. Office Expenses – Here, you can write off things like pens, pencils, paper clips, stamps, paper, telephone, and internet services as business expenses. 
  6. Meals and Entertainment – Meals and entertainment expenses incurred while conducting business, such as lunches or networking events, may be deductible. But the CRA has strict limits, so keep detailed records and only claim costs directly related to your business.
  7. Professional Fees – You may be able to write off fees paid to professionals, such as accountants, lawyers, and consultants. This may also include costs associated with business incorporation, registration, and licensing.
  8. Personal Development – Want to learn a new way to market your business? Is there a new development in your sector that you want to know more about? You can claim expenses for professional development courses, seminars, and workshops as long as they’re directly related to your industry.
  9. Travel Expenses – You can deduct travel expenses incurred while conducting business, including flights, hotels, and transportation. However, the CRA imposes strict limits on these expenses, as it does with meals and entertainment. 
  10. Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) – The CCA is a tax deduction that allows small business owners to recover the cost of eligible capital assets over several years. It’s calculated based on prescribed rates set by the CRA and is a tax-effective way to reduce the cost of acquiring and using capital assets.
  11. Rent for Commercial Space – If you rent a commercial space for your business, the cost may be deductible.
  12. Insurance – Business-related insurance premiums, such as liability insurance, may be deductible as a business expense.

Tips for Maximising Your Deductions

  1. Keep Detailed Records – It’s essential to keep detailed records of all business expenses to support your tax deductions. This includes receipts, invoices, and other documentation showing each expense’s amount and purpose.
  2. Plan Ahead – Review your expenses in advance to determine which may be eligible for a tax deduction. This will help you keep organized throughout the year and maximize your deductions.
  3. Plan Your Purchases – If you need to purchase new equipment or supplies for your business, consider making these purchases before the end of the year. This will allow you to take advantage of the current tax year’s deductions rather than waiting until the next.
  4. Hire an Accountant – Working with an experienced accountant can help you identify tax deductions you may have missed and ensure you’re taking advantage of all the ones you’re eligible for. An accountant can also help you prepare your tax return, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
  5. Stay Up-to-Date on Tax Laws – Tax laws and regulations can change frequently, so staying informed and up-to-date on the latest tax laws and rules is essential. You can stay informed by reading tax-related news articles, attending seminars, or working with a tax professional.

How Small Business BC Can Help Your Business

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