Business Expense Deductions

by in Calgary Tax Saving for Business
One of the reasons why business owners and self-employed individuals have a great edge in tax planning over the employed is that they are able to deduct business expenses from their income and pay less tax later.  

Business owners and self-employed individuals can deduct any and all expenses incurred for their business.  These expenses can be in the life of the corporation or before the incorporation such as start-up expenses.

Capital Costs or Fixed Assets.  These expenses are not fully deductible in the year they were purchased.  Portions of the costs are written off each year to reflect its depreciation or amortization.  Rates for writing off the fixed assets per year are specified in the Income Tax Act and are considered capital cost allowance.  An exception to this rule is the cost of purchasing or leasing a portion of land for business purposes.  Land cannot be written off as an expenses unless your line of business is in the buying and selling of land.

Inventory.  Inventory can be written off when the goods are sold.  Until the items are sold, the costs are recorded as inventory.

Accruals.  Accruals are done at the end of the fiscal year to record expenses that have already been incurred but not yet paid.  Accruals keep records of these incurred expenses for tax and GST/HST purposes.

If only a portion of the expense or asset was used for business, you can only deduct that portion of the expense or asset.  For example, a home office / business storage area of 800 square feet in comparison to the whole house being 3200 square feet would mean that 25% of all the home expenses could be deducted.  These expenses include rent, mortgage interest, property tax, insurance and utilities. 

Business expenses must be properly classified so make sure that you have records, receipts and other related documents on hand for you or your accountant.  This is extremely important when you are preparing your corporate tax returns and financial statements. 

For more info on business deductions, please visit the cra website or taxtips.ca.
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