Learn more about the Industry Campaign Approach

The Industry Campaign Approach is based on a "get it right from the start" approach that focuses on educating, informing and supporting businesses in sectors that may benefit from increased support and where the CRA has had limited interaction, so that non-compliance with tax obligations can be addressed more efficiently and effectively. Through the ICA, the CRA supports small and medium-sized businesses with useful, targeted information that helps them avoid common tax problems.

Although most businesses file a tax return when required and pay what they owe on time, some businesses do make avoidable errors on their tax returns. Preventing mistakes from happening in the first place, or encouraging business to self-correct, allows the CRA to focus our audit actions on higher-risk taxpayers. That saves time and money for all of us.

How does the CRA select sectors for the Industry Campaign Approach?

The CRA analyzes data from a variety of sources to identify sectors that may benefit from increased support and where the CRA has had limited interaction.

How the Industry Campaign Approach might impact you

Tax intermediaries

If you are a tax advisor or intermediary, some of your clients might receive letters and contact you for assistance or clarification. If you can’t find the answer to your question on this page, call the business income tax enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525.

Industry associations

If you are an industry association representing businesses in a sector covered by a campaign, the CRA will likely have contacted you to explain the campaign and to get your feedback. If you have not been contacted, and you would like to inform the CRA of your association's interest, please send us an e-mail .

Taxpayers

If you conduct business in an industry sector covered by a campaign, you should notice an increase in general information identifying common tax errors in your sector of business and how to fix them. This information may be provided to you by your industry association.

In some cases, you might receive a letter or some other form of communication directly from the CRA. This would typically occur if the CRA has identified a change in your business operations or a concern based on your compliance record or tax filings.

What are some of the more common mistakes people make?

For self-employed businesses, the most frequent mistakes relate to business expenses, which include: business-use-of-home expenses; meals and entertainment expenses; and motor vehicle expenses. In order to avoid errors, you may also wish to obtain information on how to report your business income and what business records to keep.

For incorporated businesses, here are some helpful tips to avoid mistakes:

  • Only expenses that have been incurred to earn income are deductible by the corporation.
  • The personal use of corporate assets, including vehicles, by a shareholder or an employee must be recorded by the corporation as a benefit to these individuals and reported on a T4 or T4A. Remember, driving between home and business is a personal rather than a business expense - see Automobile and motor vehicle benefits.The maximum amount you can claim for food, beverages, and entertainment expenses is 50% of either the amount you incur or an amount that is reasonable in the circumstances, whichever is less.
  • Money borrowed from, or lent to a corporation by a shareholder must be accounted for in order to determine any income inclusion or benefits taxable to the shareholder.
  • Expenses of incorporation are considered an eligible capital expenditure and are not deductible as current expenses.

Many simple, preventable errors are caused by poorly kept books and records. Don't wait to create and maintain a proper set of books and records. For more information, go to Keeping records.

 

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