Self employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income: Chapter 1 – General information

From: Canada Revenue Agency

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farm icon A business and business income

A business is an activity that you intend to carry on for profit and there is evidence to support that intention.

A business includes:

  • a profession
  • a calling
  • a trade
  • a manufacture
  • an undertaking of any kind
  • an adventure or concern in the nature of trade

For more information, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-459, Adventure or Concern in the Nature of Trade.

In this guide and for other reporting purposes, we treat professional activities as a separate business category.

If any of your income earning business activities takes place on a reserve, some of your business income might be exempt from tax. For more information, go to Information on the tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act – Business Income.

Business income includes income from any activity you do for profit. For example, the income from a service business is business income.

Gift cards or certificates

Gift cards or certificates could be cards, vouchers, receipts, tickets that have a monetary value. They are an alternative to paying cash for goods and services.

When you sell a gift card or certificate:

  • you must report the amounts you receive from the sale on the day they were sold as business income
  • you may choose to calculate what we call a "reserve" as a deduction against this income

Note

A reserve is the amount of gift cards or certificates that you predict will be redeemed after the end of your fiscal year. When it's deducted against the business income it must be added back to the next year's business income. You can choose to calculate it or not.

  • do not collect the GST/HST when you sell a gift card or certificate
  • calculate the GST/HST when a customer uses their gift card or certificate as a payment method for a product or service they buy
  • calculate the GST/HST on the total price of the item or service
  • deduct the amount that is on the gift card or certificate from the amount of the purchase

For more information on gift certificates, see the Publication P-202, Gift Certificates, or call 1-800-959-5525.

If you filed your return and did not report the income from gift cards or certificates, you can still change the information on your return. To find out how to change your return, go to How to change your return.

To change the information on your return online, go to My Account.

For more information, go to Voluntary Disclosure Program.

farm icon fish icon Farming and fishing income

You can earn farming or fishing income as a self-employed farmer, fisher, or both, or as a partner of a farm or fishing partnership, or both. Most of the rules that apply to self-employed farmers or fishers also apply to partners. However, if you are a partner, you should see Reporting partnership income.

farm icon Farming income

Farming income includes income you earned from the following activities:

  • soil tilling
  • livestock raising or showing
  • racehorse maintenance
  • poultry raising
  • dairy farming
  • fur farming
  • tree farming
  • fruit growing
  • beekeeping
  • cultivating crops in water or hydroponics
  • Christmas tree growing
  • operating a wild-game reserve
  • operating a chicken hatchery
  • operating a feedlot

In certain circumstances, you may also earn farming income from:

  • raising fish
  • market gardening
  • operating a nursery or greenhouse
  • operating a maple sugar bush (includes the activity of maple sap transformation into maple products if this activity is considered incidental to the basic activities of a maple sugar bush, such as the extraction and the collection of maple sap, which are farming activities)

Generally, livestock are domestic animals bred, raised, or kept on a farm or ranch, normally in an agricultural setting, for commercial profit. They may also be used in the production of commodities such as food, fiber, and labour. For more information, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-427R, Livestock of Farmers.

The raising or breeding of animals, fish, insects or any other living thing, to be sold as pets is not a farming activity. It is considered a business activity and must be reported as business income on Form T2125, Statement of Business or Professional Activities.

Generally, farming income does not include income you earned from working as an employee in a farming business, from trapping or from sharecropping. For more information on sharecropping arrangements, see Income Tax Folio S4-F11-C1, Meaning of Farming and Farming Business. For partnerships or joint ventures, see Income Tax Folio S4-F16-C1, What is a partnership?

fish icon Fishing income

Fishing income includes income you earned, whether it was payable in cash, property, or services from fishing for or catching:

  • shellfish
  • crustaceans
  • marine animals

Fishing income does not include income you earned from working as an employee in a fishing business.

Daycare in your home

Daycare in your home has always been covered in the T4002 and reported on the T2125. However, for your convenience we have added specific examples and descriptions to highlight information that is particularly relevant to your situation.

Reporting income and penalties

Include all your income when you calculate it for tax purposes. If you fail to report all your income in this year or in the last three years, you may have to pay a penalty of 10% of the amount you failed to report after your first omission.

A different penalty may apply if you knowingly, or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence, participate in the making of a false statement or omission on your income tax return. The penalty is 50% of the tax attributable to the omission or false statement (minimum $100).

For more information about penalties, go to Penalty for failure to file an information return by the due date.

When you must start reporting income and can start deducting expenses

You must start reporting your income and can start deducting your expenses when your business starts. We look at each case on its own merits. Generally, we consider your business to have started whenever you begin some significant activity that is a regular part of the business, or that is necessary to get the business going.

Suppose you do research on how to start a business in the hope of going into a business of some kind. We would not consider that as a significant activity that is a regular part of the business. So we would not consider your business to have begun at the time you started doing research. In that case, you cannot deduct any of the costs you have incurred for research.

Suppose you decide to buy enough goods for resale or equipment to start your business. We would consider this to be the starting point of your business. You can usually deduct all the expenses you incur for the business from that point on to earn income. You could still deduct the expenses even if, despite all your efforts, your business ended.

For more information about the start of a business, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-364, Commencement of Business Operations.

Statistics Canada is allowed by law to get business information collected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Statistics Canada can share the data with provincial statistical agencies to use for research and analysis purposes only. The data is related to business activities carried on in their respective province.

How to report your self-employment income

Fiscal period

Report your income based on a fiscal period. A fiscal period is the time between the day your business starts its business year and the day it ends its business year. For an existing business, the fiscal period is usually 12 months. A fiscal period cannot be longer than 12 months. However, it can be shorter than 12 months in some cases, such as when a new business starts or when a business stops.

Self-employed individuals generally have to use a December 31 year-end. If you are an eligible individual, you may be able to use another method of reporting business income that allows you to have a fiscal period that does not end on December 31. If your fiscal year-end is not December 31, see Form T1139, Reconciliation of 2018 Business Income for Tax Purposes, to calculate the amount of business income to report on your 2018 income tax return.

If you filed Form T1139 with your 2017 income tax return, generally you have to file one again for 2018.

Reporting methods

Farmers, fishers, and self-employed commission agents can use the cash method or the accrual method to report income. All other self-employment income must be reported using the accrual method.

business icon Note for professionals

If you currently carry on a designated professional business and use billed-basis accounting, the billed-basis accounting method has changed. For more information, see changes to the Election to exclude your WIP.

Cash method

farm icon Note for farmers

The cash method of accounting is incompatible with GST/HST/QST filing requirements. If you are a farmer with a GST account or are conducting other business activities, you cannot use the cash method.

When you use the cash method you must:

  • report income in the fiscal period you receive it
  • deduct expenses in the fiscal period you pay them

For special rules, see Prepaid expenses.

If you use the cash method and receive a post-dated cheque as security for a debt, include the amount in income when the cheque is payable.

If you receive a post-dated cheque as an absolute payment for a debt and the cheque is payable before the debt is due, include the amount in your income on one of the following dates, whichever is earlier:

  • the date the debt is payable
  • the date you cash or deposit the cheque
Note

The post-dated cheque rules apply to income-producing transactions, such as the sale of grain or fish. They do not apply to transactions involving capital property, such as the sale of a tractor or boat.

When you use the cash method, do not include inventory when you calculate your income. There are, however, two exceptions to this rule.

For more information on the cash method for farming or fishing income and the exceptions, see Income Tax Folio S4-F11-C1, Meaning of Farming and Farming Business.

Accrual method

When you use the accrual method you must:

  • report income in the fiscal period you earn it, no matter when you receive it
  • deduct expenses in the fiscal period you incur them, whether or not you pay them in that period

Incur usually means you either paid or will have to pay the expense.

For special rules, see Prepaid expenses.

When you calculate your income using the accrual method, the value of all inventories, such as livestock, crops, feed, fertilizer, fish, fish by-products, supplies, and so on will form part of the calculation. Make a list of your inventory and count it at the end of your fiscal period. Keep this list as part of your business records.

You can use one of the following methods to value your inventory:

  • Value all inventory at its fair market value (FMV). Use either the price you would pay to replace an item or the amount you would get if you sold an item.
  • Value individual items at cost or FMV, whichever is less. You can value items by group when you cannot easily tell one item from another. Cost is the price you incur for an item, plus any expenses to get it to your business location and put in a condition of use for your business.
  • For farmers, value livestock according to the unit price base. For this method, fill in Form T2034, Election to Establish Inventory Unit Prices for Animals.

Use the same method you used in past years to value your inventory. The value of your inventory at the start of your 2018 fiscal period is the same as the value at the end of your 2017 fiscal period. In your first year of operating a business, you will not have an opening inventory at the start of your fiscal period.

For more information on inventories, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-473R, Inventory Valuation.

farm icon fish icon Note for farmers and fishers

If you use the accrual method to calculate your farming or fishing income, calculate your cost of goods sold on a separate piece of paper. Form T2042 or Form T2121 does not have a line to calculate this amount.

Changing your method of reporting income

If you decide to change your method of reporting income from the accrual method to the cash method, use the cash method when you file your next income tax return. Make sure you include a statement that shows each adjustment made to your income and expenses because of the difference in methods.

If you decide to change from the cash method to the accrual method:

  • get permission from your tax services office
  • ask for this change in writing before the date you have to file your income tax return
  • explain why you want to change methods in your letter

The cash and accrual methods are different. The first time you file your income tax return using the accrual method, make sure you include a statement that shows each adjustment made to your income and expenses.

Business records

You are required by law to keep records of all your transactions to be able to support your income and expense claims. A record is defined to include an account, an agreement, a book, a chart or table, a diagram, a form, an image, an invoice, a letter, a map, a memorandum, a plan, a return, a statement, a telegram, a voucher, and any other proof containing information, whether in writing or in any other form.

Keep a record of your daily income and expenses. We do not issue record books nor suggest any type of book or set of books. There are many record books and bookkeeping systems available; you can use a book that has columns and separate pages for income and expenses.

Keep your duplicate deposit slips, bank statements, and cancelled cheques. Keep separate records for each business you run. If you want to keep computerized records, make sure they are clear and easy to read.

Note

Do not send your records with your income tax return. However, do keep them in case we ask to see them at a later date.

Benefits of keeping complete and organized records

You can benefit from keeping complete and organized records. For example:

  • When you earn income from many places, good records help you identify the source of income. If you keep proper records, you may be able to prove that some income is not from your business, or that it is not taxable.
  • Keeping good records will remind you of expenses you can deduct when it is time to do your income tax return.
  • Good records will keep you better informed about the past and present financial position of your business.
  • Good records can help you budget, spot trends in your business, and get loans from banks and other lenders.
  • Good records can prevent problems you may run into if we audit your income tax returns.

Consequences of not keeping adequate records

If you do not keep the necessary information and you do not have any other proof, we may have to determine your income using other methods.

We may also disallow expenses you deducted if you are unable to support them.

There are penalties for not keeping adequate records, for not giving the CRA access to your records when requested, and for not giving information to CRA officials when asked.

Income records

Keep track of the gross income your business earns. Gross income is your total income before you deduct any expenses, including those related to the goods sold. Your income records must include the date, amount, and source of the income.

Record the income whether you received cash, property, or services. Support all income entries with original documents.

Original documents include:

  • sales invoices
  • cash register tapes
  • receipts
  • bank deposit slips
  • fee statements
  • contracts

farm icon Original documents for farming include sales invoices, cash register tapes, receipts, cash purchase tickets from the sale of grain, and cheque stubs from marketing boards.

fish icon Original documents for fishing include sales slips for each landing, trip settlement sheets, and slips or records of sale to the public, retailers, and restaurants.

Example

The following sales journal is an example of how to record your income for one month. The provincial sales tax (PST) rate for Manitoba is 8% and the goods and services tax (GST) rate is 5%:

Record of daily sales particulars
not applicable Date Particulars Cash sales (1)Footnote 1 Credit sales (2)Footnote 1 Sales returns (3)Footnote 1 Total sales (4)Footnote 1 GST (5%) (5)Footnote 2 PST (8%) (6)Footnote 2 Payment on account (7)
1 July 1 Daily sales $146.00 $27.00 $0 $173.00 $8.65 $13.84 $10.00
2 July 2 Daily sales $167.00 $36.25 $26.00 $177.25 $8.86 $14.18 $0
3 July 3 Daily sales $155.02 $19.95 $10.01 $164.96 $8.25 $13.20 $32.40
4 July 4 Daily sales $147.00 $29.95 $0 $176.95 $8.85 $14.16 $0

In this example on July 1, you add up the sales invoices and cash register tapes. You find that you had cash sales of $146 and sales on account of $27. In your sales journal, you record the cash sales in column 1 and the credit sales in column 2.

No merchandise was returned on July 1, so you leave column 3 blank.

In column 4, enter the total of your cash sales and your credit sales, minus merchandise returned for that day.

In columns 5 and 6, enter the total of GST and PST you charged on your sales.

In column 7, keep track of cash payments received for previous credit sales. Do not include these payments in the daily sales figures.

Issuing receipts as a daycare provider

For daycare, you are expected to issue receipts to the parents of the children in your care. You should do this as soon as possible to give them time to file their income tax returns. By law, the receipts you issue must include all the following information:

  • the name of the person you are preparing the receipt for
  • the name of the child of the person you are preparing the receipt for
  • the amount you received for your services
  • the period you provided these services (from and to dates)
  • your name
  • your address
  • your social insurance number
  • your signature
  • the date you signed the receipt

Expense records

Always get receipts or other vouchers when you buy something for your business. The receipts have to show the following:

  • the date of the purchase
  • the name and address of the seller or supplier
  • the name and address of the buyer
  • the full description of the goods or services
  • the vendor's business number if they are a GST/HST registrant

You were asking?

Q. What should I do if there is no description on a receipt?

A. When you buy something, make sure the seller describes the item. However, sometimes there is no description on the receipt, as with a cash register tape. In this case, you should write what the item is on the receipt or in your expense records.

Q. What should I do if a supplier does not want to give me a receipt?

A. When you buy something, make sure you get a receipt. Suppliers who are GST/HST registrants are required to provide receipts. Farmers or fishers must obtain documentation to support the transactions they enter in their books and records. Your transactions may be denied if you do not have the proper documentation to support your purchases. For more information, see Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST Registrants.

Keep a record of the properties you bought and sold. This record should show who sold you the property, the cost, and the date you bought it. This information will help you calculate your CCA and other amounts. Chapter 4 explains how to calculate CCA.

If you sell or trade a property, show the date you sold or traded it and the amount of the payment or credit from the sale or trade-in.

Example

The following expense journal is an example of how to record your expenses for one month:

How to record daily expenses for one month
Date Particulars Cheque No. Bank GST (5%) Purchases Legal & Acct. Adv. Permit Repairs Capital items
July 1 XYZ Radio 407 367.50 17.50 0 0 350.00 0 0 0
July 1 Smith Hardware 408 26.95 1.28 0 0 0 0 25.67 0
July 2 City of Ottawa 409 157.50 7.50 0 0 0 150.00 0 0
July 3 Andy's Accounting 410 262.50 12.50 0 250.00 0 0 0 0
July 5 Wholesale Supply Inc. 411 1,836.60 87.46 1,749.14 0 0 0 0 0
July 5 Ed's Used Cars 412 1,575.00 75.00 0 0 0 0 0 1,500.00

fish icon Example of how to record fishing expenses

Summary Sheet for a Fishing Boat – Fishing on a Share Basis
Date Gross stock Boat share Oil Bait Ice Food Captain's commission Crewman No.1 Crewman No.2 Crewman No.3 Crewman No.4 Totals
February 14 $10,000 $4,000 $300 $400 $200 $300 $200 $1,150 $1,150 $1,150 $1,150 $10,000
March 10 $30,000 $12,000 $300 $400 $200 $300 $600 $4,050 $4,050 $4,050 $4,050 $30,000
March 19 $20,000 $8,000 $300 $400 $200 $300 $400 $2,600 $2,600 $2,600 $2,600 $20,000
Totals $60,000 $24,000 $900 $1,200 $600 $900 $1,200 $7,800 $7,800 $7,800 $7,800 $60,000
Summary Sheet for Boat and Other Expenses
Date To whom paid Boat repairs Engine repairs Electrical equipment repairs Radar rental Insurance Interest on loan Nets, traps, twine Wages Other Description Other Amount
January 19 Shipyard $1,500 $900                
February 3 X Suppliers Ltd.             $600      
March 31 Rental services       $800            
March 31 Fishermen's loan         $2,250 $945        
April 4 L. Electronics     $85              
April 12 B. Garage                 Car repairs $75
May 2 J.G. Smith               $120    
May 16 L. Electronics                 Sounder 3,000
Totals $1,500 $900 $85 $800 $2,250 $945 $600 $120 $3,075
Summary Sheet for Sales Other Than From Fishing on a Share Basis
Date To whom sold Gross landings Deducted from sales proceeds Net cash received
Gas Bait Other
January 16 Fish Packers $1,000 $36.50 $74.90 $20 $868.60
January 20 Fish Packers $800 $20.00 $36.00 $10 $734.00
January 21 J. Restaurant – no fish slip $100       $100.00
January 25 Fish Packers $940 $32.00 $56.00 $12 $840.00
Totals $2,840 $88.50 $166.90 $42 $2,542.60
Summary Sheet for Expenses (other than those deducted on fish slips)
Date To whom paid Boat repairs Engine repairs Wages paid Bait Gas for boat Rope Motor vehicle expenses Materials, traps, nets Other Description Other Amount
January 4 X Suppliers           $25   $85    
January 5 Shipyard $300                  
January 7 Provincial gov.                 Fishing Licence $7
January 7 B. Insurance             $280      
January 9 X. Service Station             16      
January 12 F. Jones     $85              
January 31 Fishermen's loan                 Interest 175
Totals $300   $85     $25 $296 $85   $182

Use the totals to fill in Form T2121, Statement of Fishing Activities.

For more information on how to keep your business records, the time limits, and to learn more about the benefits of keeping them complete and organized, go to Keeping records.

Instalment payments

As a self-employed individual, you may have to pay an instalment payment. In most cases, we will send you an instalment reminder showing an instalment amount we have calculated for you.

You can view your instalment reminders using one of the following:

farm icon fish icon If you earn farming and fishing income, instalment payments are due December 31.

business icon If you earn business, professional, or commission income, instalment payments are due March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15.

There are different methods you can use to calculate instalment payments. For example, you can use the Instalment payment calculator service at My Business Account to calculate them and view their due dates.

Go to one of the following:

You may have to pay interest and a penalty if you do not pay the full instalment amount you owed on time.

For more information on instalment payments and instalment interest charges, go to Paying your income tax by instalments.

Note

If any of the dates mentioned above fall on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday, you have until the next business day to make your instalment payments.

Dates to remember

February 28, 2019 – If you have employees, file your 2018 T4 Summary and T4A Summary. Also, give your employees their copies of the T4 and T4A slips.

business icon March 15, 2019 – Make your first 2019 instalment payment if you earn business, professional, or commission income.

March 31, 2019 – Most partnerships with individuals as partners file a partnership information return. However, there are exceptions, see Guide T4068, Guide for the Partnership Information Return (T5013 Forms).

April 30, 2019 – Pay any balance owing for 2018. Also, file your 2018 income tax return if the expenditures of your business are mainly the cost or the capital cost of tax shelter investments.

June 15, 2019 – File your 2018 income tax return if you have self-employment income, or if you are the spouse or common-law partner of someone who does, unless your business expenditures are mainly the cost or the capital cost of tax shelter investments. Remember to pay any balance owing due by April 30, 2019, to avoid interest charges.

business icon June 15, 2019 – Make your second 2019 instalment payment by this date if you earn business, professional, or commission income.

business icon June 30, 2019 or the period end date plus 6 months – If your business is in the construction industry and hires subcontractors, you may have to file a 2018 T5018 information return, that consists of Form T5018SUM, Summary of Contract Payments, and the related T5018 slips, to report your payments.

For more information, go to Contract Payment Reporting System (CPRS) and choose the topic entitled "Construction industry (T5018)."

business icon September 15, 2019 – Make your third 2019 instalment payment by this date if you earn business, professional, or commission income.

business icon December 15, 2019 – Make your fourth 2019 instalment payment by this date if you earn business, professional, or commission income.

farm icon fish icon December 31, 2019 – Pay your instalment payment if you meet the following conditions:

  • your main source of income in 2019 is self-employment income from farming or fishing
  • your net tax owing is more than $3,000 in each of 2017, 2018, and 2019 ($1,800 if you live in Quebec on December 31 for any of those years)

For more information on paying your income tax by instalments, go to Paying your income tax by instalments.

Note

If any of the dates mentioned above fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or a public holiday, you have until the next business day to file your return or make your payment.

Employment insurance (EI) premiums

As a self-employed individual you may be eligible to contribute to Employment insurance (EI) for yourself. You may register to participate if you meet the eligibility criteria defined by Service Canada.

Beginning in the year you register, your EI premiums will be calculated on your income tax return for that year. If you register in 2018 to participate in this program, premiums for 2018 will be calculated on your 2018 income tax return and will be payable by April 30, 2019.

Subsequently, if you pay your income tax by instalments, EI premiums may be included in your instalment payments.

When you register for the EI program, EI premiums will be payable on your self-employment income for the entire year, regardless of the date you register. For example, whether you register in April 2018 or December 2018, you will pay EI premiums on your self-employment income for the entire 2018 year.

EI premiums are payable on the amount of your self-employment earnings up to an annual maximum amount. The annual maximum amount for 2018 is $51,700.

Claim your provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credit for the employment insurance premiums on the provincial or territorial Form 428 at line 5829.

For more information, visit Service Canada.

Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST)

Generally, you must register for the GST/HST if your worldwide gross revenues from your taxable supplies of property and services (including those taxable at 0%) and those of your associates are more than $30,000 in a single calendar quarter or over four consecutive calendar quarters. Taxable supplies of property and services include those that are subject to GST/HST at the applicable rate, those that are taxed at 0% (zero-rated), and those from all your associates.

Do not include in your calculation any revenues from sales of capital property, supplies of financial services, and goodwill from the sale of a business.

business icon If you provide care and supervision in your home to children 14 years of age or under for periods of usually less than 24 hours per day, your daycare service is exempt from GST/HST. If this is the case, you cannot add this tax to the amount you charge customers for these services. For more information, see Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST Registrants.

farm icon fish icon For more information about GST/HST taxable farm or fishing goods and services, zero-rated farm or fishing products, and zero-rated farm or fishing purchases, see GST/HST.

For more general information on GST/HST, go to GST/HST or see the GST/HST Memoranda Series 2-1, Required registration.

The GST/HST Registry

The GST/HST Registry is an online service you can use to confirm the GST/HST number of a business. You can use this registry to check if your suppliers are registered for the GST/HST when you claim an input tax credit. For more information, go to Confirming a GST/HST account number.

You can check the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) registration number at Validation of a QST and GST Numbers.

What is a partnership?

A partnership is defined as the relationship that exists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit. You can have a partnership without a written agreement. To help you decide if you are a partner in a certain business, determine the type and extent of your involvement in the business and check your province or territory's laws.

When you form, change, or dissolve a relationship that may be a partnership, consider:

  • whether the relationship is a partnership
  • the special rules about capital gains or losses and the recapture of CCA that apply when you transfer properties to a partnership
  • the special rules that apply when you dissolve a partnership
  • the special rules that apply when you dispose of your interest in a partnership

For more information about partnerships, see Income tax Folio S4-F16-C1, What is a Partnership? or Guide T4068, Guide for the Partnership Information Return (T5013 Forms).

Limited partnership

A limited partnership is composed of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners.

A general partner has unlimited liability for the debts and obligations of the partnership.

A limited partner generally has limited liability for the debts and obligations of the partnership unless the partner is involved in running the business.

Reporting partnership income

A partnership does not file an income tax return, and is not taxed at the partnership level. All income and losses of a partnership flow through to the partners. They report their share on their income tax returns such as their T1, T2, or T3. This requirement is the same whether their share of income was received in cash or as a credit to the partner's capital account. For more information, see Guide T4068, Guide for the Partnership Information Return (T5013 Forms).

Partnership losses

If a partnership has a loss from carrying on business in a taxation year, this loss is allocated to the partners. In general, the amount of business loss allocated to a particular partner is either netted against the partner's income from other sources to arrive at net income for the year or is included in determining the partner's non-capital loss for the year, as the case may be.

Note

The loss carry forward period is 20 years for non-capital losses, farm or fishing losses, restricted farm losses, and life insurer's Canadian life investment losses incurred.

Filing requirements for partnerships

Under subsection 229(1) of the Regulations, all partnerships that carry on business in Canada or are Canadian partnerships or specified investment flow-through (SIFT) partnerships must file a partnership return. However, under CRA administrative policy, certain partnerships that carry on business in Canada or are Canadian partnerships are not required to file a partnership return.

For more information about the partnership information return and any other filing exemptions, see Guide T4068, Guide for the Partnership Information Return (T5013 Forms).

Capital cost allowance (CCA)

A partnership can own depreciable property and claim CCA on it. However, individual partners cannot claim CCA on property the partnership owns.

From the capital cost of depreciable property, subtract any investment tax credit allocated to the individual partners. We consider this allocation to be made at the end of the partnership's fiscal period. You must also reduce the capital cost by any type of government assistance received. Box 040 of your T5013 slip, Statement of Partnership Income shows the amount of CCA the partnership claimed on your behalf. This amount has already been deducted from your business income in box 116 of the T5013 slip. Do not deduct this amount again.

For more information on CCA and the adjustments to capital cost, see Chapter 4.

Any recapture of CCA or terminal loss on the sale of a partnership's depreciable property is included in the partnership's income or loss for the year that is allocated to the partners. Any taxable capital gain on the sale of a partnership's depreciable property is also allocated to the partners.

For more information about capital gains and losses, as well as recapture and terminal losses, see Chapter 4.

GST/HST rebate for partners

If you are an individual who is a member of a partnership, you may be able to get a rebate for the GST/HST you paid on certain expenses. The rebate is based on the GST/HST you paid on expenses you deducted from your share of the partnership income on your income tax return. However, special rules apply if your partnership paid you an allowance for those expenses. For more information, go to GST/HST rebate for employees and partners.

As an individual who is a member of a partnership, you may qualify for the GST/HST partner rebate if you meet the following conditions:

  • the partnership is a GST/HST registrant
  • you personally paid GST/HST on expenses that:
    • you did not incur on behalf of the partnership
    • you deducted from your share of the partnership income on your income tax return

However, special rules apply if the partnership reimbursed you these costs.

Examples of expenses subject to the GST/HST are vehicle costs and certain business-use-of-home expenses. The rebate may also apply to the GST/HST you paid on motor vehicles, musical instruments, and aircraft, for which you deducted CCA.

The eligible part of the CCA is the part that you deduct on your tax return in the tax year that relates specifically to a motor vehicle, musical instrument, or aircraft on which you paid GST/HST. It would also be eligible for the rebate, to the extent that the partnership used the property to make taxable supplies.

You can also get a GST/HST rebate calculated on the CCA you claimed on certain types of property. For example, you can claim CCA for a vehicle you bought to earn partnership income if you paid GST/HST when you bought it.

If you deduct CCA on more than one property of the same class, separate the part of the CCA of the property that qualifies for the rebate from the CCA on the other property. If any part of the rebate relates to the CCA deduction for a motor vehicle, a musical instrument or an aircraft, you have to reduce the undepreciated capital cost (UCC) of that property by the amount that is part of the rebate.

Fill in Form GST370, Employee and Partner GST/HST Rebate Application, to claim your GST/HST rebate for partners. You have to include this rebate in your income for the tax year in which you receive it.

Use the "Other amounts deductible from your share of net partnership income (loss)" chart of Form T2125, Statement of Business or Professional Activities, Form T2042, Statement of Farming Activities, or Form T2121, Statement of Fishing Activities, to claim expenses for which the partnership did not reimburse you or any other deductible amounts.

For more information, see Line 9943 – Other amounts deductible from your share of net partnership income (loss).

For example, if in 2018 you receive a GST/HST rebate for the 2017 tax year, you have to include the amount of the rebate on your income tax and benefit return for 2018:

  • Report, as an expense, at line 9974 of form T776 the GST/HST rebate amount for partners that pertains to eligible expenses other than the CCA.
  • In column 2 of "Area A – Calculation of CCA claim", reduce the UCC for the beginning of 2018 by the rebate part that relates to the eligible CCA.

For more information about the GST/HST rebate, go to GST/HST rebate for employees and partners.

Example

Patrick is a partner in an Alberta partnership called ABC Contracting. The partnership is registered for GST/HST and has a December 31 year-end. Under the partnership agreement, Patrick is required to personally pay his motor vehicle expenses. Patrick's GST/HST fraction is (5/105).

The following are his 2018 motor vehicle expenses. He did not receive an allowance or reimbursement for these expenses.

Total eligible expenses other than CCA
$3,150.84
CCA
5,100.00
Total eligible expenses including CCA
$8,250.84

Patrick calculates the GST/HST rebate for partners:

$8,250.84 x (5/105) = $392.90

The amount $392.90 is Patrick's partner GST/HST rebate amount.

He files Form GST370, Employee and Partner GST/HST Rebate Application, and includes $392.90 at line 457 on his 2018 tax return.

Patrick calculates the GST/HST rebate for partners related to his eligible expenses other than CCA:

$3,150.84 x (5/105) = $150.04

$150.04 is the GST/HST rebate for partners related to his eligible expenses other than CCA.

When filing his 2019 tax return, he will include this amount on line 9974 of Part 5 of his Form T2125, Form T2042, or Form T2121. Patrick also calculates the amount of the GST/HST rebate for partners that relates to CCA:

$5,100 x (5/105) = $242.86

On his 2019 tax return, he will reduce the 2019 beginning UCC of his motor vehicle by $242.86 in column 2 of Area A.

Investment tax credit (ITC)

An investment tax credit (ITC) lets you subtract part of the cost of some types of property you acquired or expenditures you incurred from the taxes you owe. You may be able to claim this tax credit in 2018 if you:

  • acquired qualifying property
  • incurred qualifying expenditures
  • were allocated renounced Canadian exploration expenses
  • for farmers, acquired monies paid to agricultural organizations through check-offs, levies or cash assistance

You may also be able to claim this tax credit in 2018 if you have unused ITCs from previous years.

Atlantic Investment Tax Credit

The Atlantic Investment Tax Credit is based on specified percentages available for certain investments in new buildings, and new machinery and equipment used in the Atlantic Canada and Atlantic Region.

Scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED)

You can receive scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) ITCs on qualified expenditures. You can receive them in the form of a cash refund or a reduction of tax payable or both. Unused SR&ED ITCs can be carried back three years or carried forward 20 years.

farm icon Note for farmers

Agricultural producers can access ITCs earned on contributions made to agricultural organizations that fund SR&ED. For more information, see Chapter 8 of the Third-Party Payments Policy.

Mineral exploration tax credit (METC)

Certain renounced Canadian exploration expenses qualify for this ITC. You must subtract the amount of any allowable provincial tax credit.

Apprenticeship job creation tax credit (AJCTC)

The apprenticeship job creation tax credit (AJCTC) is a non-refundable ITC. The amount of the credit is added to the ITC and is available to reduce federal taxes payable for the tax year.

Investment tax credit for child care spaces

Under budget 2017 the ITC for child care spaces has been repealed. However, transitional relief is available in respect of eligible expenditures incurred before 2020 under a written agreement entered into before March 22, 2017, and after March 18, 2007, to a maximum ITC amount of $10,000 per child care space created.

For more information about ITCs and to claim them, see Form T2038(IND), Investment Tax Credit (Individuals).

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