Did you know that there are business services that can make it faster and easier for you to meet your tax obligations?
October 11, 2023
Canada Revenue Agency
Hi, I’m Charlie! Charlie the chatbot. You can find me on the Canada.ca/CRA webpage where I can answer questions about your business and other tax-related matters. From April to July 2023, I was asked just over 854,000 questions in English and 156,000 questions in French. As we head into Small Business Week 2023, I am here to give you some information about business taxes based on questions that I’ve received from others.
Business registration online
When you’re running a business, certain activities will require you to have a business number (BN) or program account. Using Business Registration Online (BRO) is the fastest and easiest way to do this. Here is more information about the BN and about CRA program accounts:
- Business number: a nine-digit number and the standard identifier for businesses, which is unique to a business or legal entity. Your business will only ever have one BN. You need a BN if you incorporate or need a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) program account. Note that you should ensure that your Social Insurance Number (SIN) has been properly associated to your BN for authentication purposes. This can be done as part of the BRO registration process
- CRA program account identifiers: these are two letters and four digits that are attached to a BN and used for specific business activities that must be reported to the CRA (examples of the most common CRA program accounts are GST/HST (if your business collects GST/HST; this identifier will start with RT), payroll deductions (if your business pays employees; this identifier will start with RP), corporation income tax (if your business is incorporated; this identifier will start with RC) and the Underused Housing Tax (if your corporation files a Underused Housing Tax return for each of their properties in Canada; this identifier will start with RU)
My Business Account
Registering for My Business Account (MyBA) may make interacting with the CRA easier. With MyBA you can file certain tax returns, make payments, view account balances, submit documents online and so much more.
For more information about My Business Account and how to access it, go to About My Business Account - Canada.ca.
Once you have a MyBA, you may also want to know about these services:
- Represent a Client provides tax professionals and authorized representatives access to manage tax information on behalf of a client
- Email notifications alert you when important changes are made to your My Business Account, and when you have mail to view. These notifications act as an early warning for potential fraudulent activity
You should know about these secure methods to send and receive tax-related payments:
- Make a Payment is a quick, convenient way for businesses to securely fulfill their tax -obligations by submitting payments to the appropriate tax program
- Direct deposit allows you to receive your businesses tax refunds, benefits and other payments directly into your bank account. Avoid the hassle of waiting for paper cheques and register for a secure and reliable way to receive your CRA-related funds
Make calculations quick and easy using these calculators!
- Payroll Deduction Online Calculator is an online calculator that simplifies the process of determining the amount of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) to be deducted from employee wages.
- Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Calculator is a tool that determines the correct amount to be charged or claimed on sales and purchases allowing you to make sure your business is collecting and remitting the appropriate amount of GST/HST.
People often want to know what credits their business may be eligible for. Some of the common ones are:
- Federal tax credits are credits that corporations may be eligible for when filling out their T2 Corporation Income Tax Return. Examples of these credits include the Canadian film or video production tax credit, the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, the Air quality improvement tax credit, the Return of fuel charge proceeds to farmers tax credit and more
- Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax credit is a non-refundable investment tax credit equal to 10% of the eligible salaries and wages payable to eligible apprentices in respect of employment after May 1, 2006. The maximum credit an employer can claim is $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice. If your business hires an eligible apprentice, you qualify to claim the credit
- Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) is a tax incentive designed to support research and development (R&D) activities conducted by businesses. We offer free services to help businesses conducting R&D work in Canada understand how to prepare an SR&ED claim. You can start by using our quick and easy online Self-Assessment and Learning Tool to find out, up-front, if your R&D project is likely to qualify for SR&ED tax incentives and to calculate your potential claim amount. You can also request a virtual pre-claim consultation with an SR&ED specialist if you have questions about whether your work is eligible or how to submit a claim. You can also visit the Outreach Program’s web page to register for an upcoming webinar and information session
CRA Business Support and Resources
As a pilot project, I’m still learning and don’t have all the answers. However, I can lead you to resources that might help, such as how-to-guides and one-on-one support:
- Forms and Publications: Find guides with the answers to your specific business enquires. These publications provide detailed information outlining all things tax related from filing forms to technical information about the Underused Housing Tax
- Webinars: The CRA conducts webinars on a variety of topics to help businesses navigate complex processes. Recent sessions include GST/HST Filing responsibilities for businesses and Canada Pension Plan Enhancement: Second CPP Contribution
- Liaison Officer Service: Do you know that you can request a visit from a Liaison Officer to go over general bookkeeping concepts and best practices, as well as how to avoid common tax errors? These consultations are completely confidential and free for businesses
- Contact the CRA: The CRA has designated service centers to assist businesses with their tax-related enquiries. Businesses can contact the CRA directly to receive additional information and guidance
Business taxes can be quick and easy using our business services! Once again – I’m Charlie the Chatbot, and you can find me on the Canada.ca/CRA webpage, ready to answer your tax-related questions.
See you later!
Charlie the Chatbot
Canada Revenue Agency
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