Simplified logbook for Motor Vehicle Expense

by in Tax Advice Information and Updates

June 28, 2010 – The CRA has just announced the introduction of a new simplified logbook for motor vehicle expense provision to ease the tax compliance burden of  small and medium sized businesses.

This is one of the government’s steps to make it easier to do business in Canada.  This new sample logbook was designed to help small and medium sized businesses to simplify record keeping, reduce paperwork and still provide accurate information for tax purposes.  This latest effort came about as the government worked closely with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business or CFIB and other organizations to address the needs of small and medium sized business owners.

According to the CFIB, the most burdensome aspect of the motor vehicle tax provisions for its members is the requirement to keep a logbook.  In response to this, the CRA developed an alternative system to record business travel for the purpose of substantiating the business use of a motor vehicle that was used for business and personal reasons.

The Government of Canada has acknowledged that complying with tax rules is very time-consuming as well as costly which is why the CFIB is very happy with the introduction of the new sample logbook.  According to them, this new sample logbook tracking the business use of a motor vehicle will help reduce three quarters of the paperwork burden and give businesses more opportunities to focus on their core business.

According to the CRA, “business can choose to maintain a full logbook for one complete year to establish business use of a vehicle in a base year.  After one complete year of keeping a logbook (starting in 2009 or thereafter) to establish a base year, a three month sample logbook can be used to extrapolate business use for the entire year, providing the usage is within the same range (within 10%) of the results of the base year.  Business will need to demonstrate that the use of the vehicle in the base year remains representative of its normal use.  Thus for both income tax and GST/HST purposes, the motor vehicle record keeping burden is being reduced.”

Please visit the CRA website for more information --
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