Understand your tax obligations

If you earn revenue from any digital platform, you may have reporting obligations for income tax and the goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST).

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Income tax obligations

As a resident of Canada, you are required to report your worldwide income from all sources, including foreign and domestic commerce.

If you are a non-resident, you are subject to Canadian income tax on most Canadian-sourced income paid or credited to you during the year unless all or part of that income is exempt under a tax treaty. More information on non-residents is available at Non-Residents and Income Tax - Canada.ca.

Income tax obligations for self-employed

If you earn income through digital platforms, you may be considered to be self-employed and carrying on a business. If you are self-employed, your tax obligations are different from those of an employee.

Identifying whether you are an employee or self-employed

Report and pay tax on all income earned from taxable activities

Your income is your net earnings from employment, self-employment (including platform economy activities), property, investments and benefits.

To report and pay tax on all your self-employment income, fill in lines 13499 and 13500 of your individual income tax and benefit return or complete the corporation income tax return for incorporated businesses. Fill in Form T2125, Statement of Business or Professional Activities, or Schedule 125 of the T2 return, and file it with your return.

To report and pay tax on rental income, including rental income earned via short-term accommodation platforms, fill lines 12599 and 12600 on your return. Also fill in Form T776, Statement of Real Estate Rentals.

Reporting all of your taxable income could

  • increase your qualifying amount for a mortgage or loan
  • increase your contribution limit for a registered retirement savings plan

GST/HST obligations

Generally, if you provide goods or services and earn more than $30,000 over four calendar quarters, then you have to register for, collect, and remit (send) the related goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Ridesharing obligations

If you earn revenue from ridesharing (for example, Uber or Lyft), then you must register for, collect and remit (send) the GST/HST to the CRA regardless of how much you earn. For more detailed information on GST/HST for ridesharing, go to Ridesharing and the digital economy.

Canada Pension Plan contributions

You have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) if you:

  • are over the age of 18
  • earn more than $3,500 per year
  • work in Canada (other than the province of Quebec)

If you are self-employed, you are responsible for paying the employer and employee parts of your CPP contributions. To do this, use Schedule 8 “Canada Pension Plan Contributions and Overpayment” on your income tax and benefit return.

CPP for self-employed

Quebec Pension Plan contributions

Self-employed residents of Quebec are responsible for Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions.

You are a self-employed worker (Retraite Quebec)

Keep records of your transactions

Keep track of all of the income that you earned and the expenses that you incurred for business purposes. As a self-employed individual, you can claim eligible expenses on your income tax and benefit return.

Correct your tax affairs

If you do not report all income you earn through the platform economy, you may have to pay penalties and interest in addition to the taxes you owe. By correcting your tax affairs voluntarily, you may be able to reduce or avoid penalties and interest.

Changing a tax return

You can change your past tax returns (including GST/HST returns) to report income or expenses that you did not report in previous years.

Voluntary Disclosures Program

In some situations, you may prefer to correct your tax affairs through the Voluntary Disclosures Program. This program grants relief on a case-by-case basis to taxpayers or registrants who voluntarily come forward to fix an error or omission in their tax filings before the CRA knows or contacts them about it. To qualify, your application must:

  • be submitted voluntarily, meaning you apply before you become aware of the CRA taking any compliance action against you or anyone related to you
  • be complete, meaning that you have included all relevant information and documents (including all returns, forms and schedules needed to correct the error or omission)
  • include information that is at least one year past the due date for filing income tax, or one reporting period past the due date for filing GST/HST
  • include payment of the estimated tax owing
  • involve a penalty (or interest for disclosures related to GST/HST)

Apply for a correction through the Voluntary Disclosures Program

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