A formal record of transactions involving a particular item or person.
- Accounts payable
Debts you have as a result of making purchases or receiving services on an open account or on credit. You have accounts payable when you have not yet paid for the assets or services you have received.
- Accounts receivable
Amount of money you are owed. Generally, you are owed this amount because you sold goods or provided services.
- Accrual method of accounting
With this method, income is reported in the fiscal period it is earned, regardless of when it is received. The expenses are also deducted in the fiscal period they are incurred, whether they are paid or not. This method is generally used by businesses or professionals.
- Address of business records
Is the address where the records of the business are stored.
- Adjusted cost base (ACB)
Usually, the cost of a property plus any expenses to acquire it, such as commissions and legal fees. The cost of a capital property is its actual or deemed cost, depending on the type of property and how you acquired it. It also includes capital expenditures, such as the cost of additions and improvements to the property. You cannot add current expenses, such as maintenance and repair costs, to the cost base of a property.
For more information on ACB, go to Interpretation bulletin IT-456, Capital Property – Some Adjustment to Cost Base, and its Special Release.
- Accelerated investment incentive property (AIIP)
Property that is eligible for an enhanced first-year allowance that is subject to the capital cost allowance (CCA) rules. The property may be eligible if it is acquired after November 20, 2018, and becomes available for use before 2028. For more information on AIIP, go to Accelerated investment incentive.
A process by which you ask a Court to review the decision the Appeals Division made on behalf of the Minister of National Revenue.
- Arm's length transaction
Refers to a relationship or a transaction between persons who act in their separate interests. An arm's length transaction is generally a transaction that reflects ordinary commercial dealings between parties acting in their separate interests.
"Related persons" are not considered to deal with each other at arm's length. Related persons include individuals connected by blood relationship, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption (legal or in fact). A corporation and another person or two corporations may also be related persons.
"Unrelated persons" may not be dealing with each other at arm's length at a particular time. Each case will depend upon its own facts. The following criteria will be considered to determine whether parties to a transaction are not dealing at arm's length:
- whether there is a common mind that directs the bargaining for the parties to a transaction
- whether the parties to a transaction act in concert without separate interests; "acting in concert" means, for example, that parties act with considerable interdependence on a transaction of common interest
- whether there is de facto control of one party by the other because of, for example, advantage, authority or influence
For more information, go to Income Tax Folio S1-F5-C1, Related persons and dealing at arm's length.
- Articles of incorporation
Legal document necessary to the incorporation process and filed with a provincial or territorial government or the federal government. They set out a corporation's purpose and regulations
Any property owned by a person or business. Assets include money, land, buildings, investments, inventory, cars, trucks, boats, or other valuables that belong to a person or business. They also may include intangibles such as goodwill.
- Associated persons
For GST/HST purposes, a person is associated with another person, generally, where one controls the other. Associated persons may include:
- two or more corporations
- an individual and a corporation
- a person and a partnership or trust
- two persons, if they are associated with the same third person
- Available for use
You can claim capital cost allowance (CCA) on a rental property only when it becomes available for use.
A rental property, other than a building, usually becomes available for use on the earliest of either:
- the date you first use it to earn income
- the second year after the year you acquire it
- the time immediately before you dispose of it
A rental property that is a building, or part of a building, usually becomes available for use on the earliest of either:
- the date when construction of the building is complete or a fully constructed building is bought, as long as it can be used at once as a rental building
- the date that you rent out 90% or more of the building
- the second year after the year you acquire the building
- the time immediately before you dispose of the building
A debt owed to you and remains unpaid after you have exhausted all means to collect it.
The amount remaining in an account after recording all deposits and withdrawals.
- Balance sheet
A formal document in the form of a summary statement, showing assets, liabilities, and owners' equity at a particular point in time.
- Basic tax content of a property
This generally means the amount of GST/HST that you paid on the property, and on any improvements to the property, less any amounts that were reimbursed to you (such as rebates or remissions, but not input tax credits (ITCs). You also have to consider the fair market value (FMV) of the property as well as the value at last acquisition (including any improvements). For more information, see chart "ITCs for acquisition of capital personal property," in Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST registrants.
A plan outlining an organization's financial and operational goals.
- Business expenses
Certain costs that are reasonable for a particular type of business, and that are incurred for the purpose of earning income. Business expenses can be deducted for tax purposes. Personal, living, or other expenses not related to the business cannot be deducted for tax purposes.
- Business mailing address
Is the address where the mail of the business is delivered?
- Business number (BN)
Exclusive number assigned to a company to simplify relations between the company and the federal government. A busines can only have one BN.
- Business operating name
Is the name a business uses for its day-to-day activities and for advertisement purposes. This name may be different from the legal name of the business.
- Business physical address
Is the address where the day-to-day activities of the business take place.
- Business relationship
A verbal or written agreement in which a self-employed individual agrees to perform specific work for a payer in return for payment. There is no employer or employee. The self-employed individual generally does not have to carry out all or even part of the work himself. In this type of relationship, a contract for services exists.
- Calendar quarter
A period of three consecutive months ending on the last day of the following months:
- Calendar year
A period of twelve months that begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
An insurance program to help Canadians provide income for their retirement. It also provides them with income if they become disabled. Contributions to this plan are based on a workers annual earnings.
- Capital cost
This is the amount on which you first claim CCA. The capital cost of a rental property is usually the total of the following:
- the purchase price (not including the cost of land, which is depreciable)
- the part of your legal, accounting, engineering, installation, and other fees that relate to buying or constructing the property, (not including the part that applies to land)
- the cost of any additions or improvements you made to the property after you acquired it, if you did not claim these costs as a current expense (such as modifications to accommodate persons with disabilities)
- for a building, soft costs (such as interest, legal and accounting fees, and property taxes) related to the period you are constructing, renovating, or altering the building, if these expenses have not been deducted as current expenses
Legal and accounting fees for buying a rental property are allocated between the cost of the land and the capital cost of the building. If land is acquired for rental purposes or for constructing a rental property, the legal and accounting fees apply to the land.
- Capital cost allowance (CCA)
This is a deduction you can claim over a period of several years for the cost of depreciable property, that is, property that wears out or becomes obsolete over time such as a building, furniture, or equipment, that you use in your business or professional activities.
- Capital expense
Capital expenditures provide a benefit that usually lasts for several years. For example, costs to buy or improve your property are capital expenses. Generally, you cannot deduct the full amount of these expenses in the year you incur them. Instead, you can deduct their cost over a period of several years as capital cost allowance.
These expenses can include:
- the purchase price of rental property
- legal fees and other costs connected with buying the property
- the cost of furniture and equipment you are renting with the property
- Capital gain
- Capital loss
- Capital property
Capital property generally include:
- Cash method of accounting
- Commercial activity
Any business, adventure, or concern in the nature of trade carried on by a person.
Commercial activity also includes making a supply of real property, other than an exempt supply, by any person, whether or not there is a reasonable expectation of profit, and anything done in the course of making the supply or in connection with the making of the supply.
These activities do not include:
- Common-law partner
A person who is not your spouse with whom you are living in a conjugal relationship, and to whom at least one of the following situations applies:
- they have been living with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 continuous months
- they are the parent of your child by birth or adoption
- they have custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before the child turned 19 years of age) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support
For more information, go to Update your CRA information: Change your marital status.
The privacy of tax related information. The only people with access to your confidential information is you, those who are authorized by law, and those to whom you have given written permission.
A form of business authorized by federal, provincial, or territorial law to act as a separate legal entity. Its purpose and regulations are set out in its articles of incorporation.
- Cost of goods sold
The actual cost of the items sold in the normal course of business during a specific period.
- Cumulative eligible capital (CEC) account
This is the bookkeeping record you establish to determine your annual allowance. You also use your CEC account to keep track of the property you buy and sell. We call the property in your CEC account your eligible capital property. You base your annual allowance on the balance in your CEC account at the end of your fiscal period. Keep a separate account for each business, but include all eligible capital property for the one business in the same CEC account.
- Current expense
Current or operating expenses are recurring expenses that provide a short-term benefit. For example, the cost of repairs you make to keep an asset in the same condition as it was when you acquired it. You can deduct current expenses from your gross income in the year you incur them.
- Customs duties
Taxes you pay when you bring foreign goods into Canada.
An amount that is owed. If you borrow money or purchase something on credit, you have created a debt.
- Deductible expenses
Your deductible expenses equal your total expenses minus your personal portion.
A legal term used for something that is considered to be something else for a specific situation. Also applies to something which hasn't occurred yet but is still considered to have occurred for a specific situation.
- Depreciable property
Property that wears out as it is used over the years. For examples cars, farm equipment, and business machines. It is usually capital property used to earn income from a business or property. You can claim capital cost allowance on depreciable property.
- Depreciable rental property
A decrease in the value of an asset through age, use, and deterioration. In accounting terminology, depreciation is a deduction or expense claimed for this decrease in value.
- Designated immediate expensing property (DIEP)
- is immediate expensing property of the eligible person or partnership (EPOP)
- is designated on a prescribed form the EPOP files with the minister for the tax year on or before the day that is 12 months after the EPOP's filing due date for the tax year to which the designation relates
- became available for use by the EPOP in the current year
Generally, the disposal of property by sale, gift, transfer, or change in use.
A formal choice among specific options on how tax laws are applied to a taxpayer's financial affairs. Usually you make an election on your tax return.
Eligible capital property
Generally, this is property that does not physically exist but that gives you a lasting economic benefit. Some examples are goodwill, or franchises, concessions, or licences for an unlimited period. As of January 1, 2017, the eligible capital property (ECP) system was replaced with the new CCA Class 14.1 with transitional rules.
Eligible person or partnership (EPOP)
One of the following:
- a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC) throughout the year
- an individual (other than a trust) resident in Canada throughout the year
- a Canadian partnership of which all the members were either CCPCs or individuals (other than trusts) and all the members were resident in Canada throughout the fiscal period
An individual who works for an employer.
A verbal or written agreement in which an employee agrees to work, on a full-time or part-time basis for an employer, in return for salary or wages. The employer has the right to decide where, when, and how the work will be done. This is a service agreement.
Employment insurance (EI)
A federal program that provides financial assistance to people who are temporarily out of work. It is an insurance program, with employers and employees making payments into the Employment Insurance Fund.
Employment insurance premiums
A selective tax on certain goods produced within or imported into a country.
Costs you incur to earn business income. Go to Operating expenses.
Fair market value (FMV)
Generally, it is the highest dollar value (price) a business, property, or other asset would sell for in an open and competitive market where buyer and seller are dealing at arm's length with each other. Go to Arm's length transaction.
This is generally the twelve-month period for reporting income earning activities. The fiscal period may or may not match the calendar year. The business usually sets its fiscal period when it files its first income tax return. For more information, go to Tax year.
- Immediate expensing property
Property, other than property included in CCA Classes 1 to 6, 14.1, 17, 47, 49 and 51, that:
- is acquired by an EPOP who is an individual or a Canadian partnership after December 31, 2021
- becomes available for use before:
- 2025, if the EPOP is an individual or a Canadian partnership of which all the members are individuals throughout the year
- 2024 in any other case
- meets either of the following conditions:
- it has never been used for any purpose and no person or partnership has claimed CCA (or terminal loss) for the property before the property was acquired by the EPOP
- it has not been transferred to the EPOP on a tax deferred "rollover" basis and it was not previously owned or acquired by the EPOP or a non-arm’s length person or partnership
The sum of revenues earned in a specific period of time. It includes revenues from salaries, wages, benefits, tips, commissions, profits from operating a business or profession, and investments earned.
- Income statement
- Income tax payroll deductions
- Information circulars
Publications that we issue to give detailed explanations on a variety of tax subjects.
- Information slips
- Input tax credit (ITC)
This is a credit that GST/HST registrants can claim to recover the GST/HST they paid or owe for goods or services they acquired, imported into Canada, or brought into a participating province for use, consumption, or supply in the course of commercial activities.
Instalments are periodic payments of income tax that individuals are required to pay to the CRA to cover tax they would otherwise have to pay on April 30. Most people pay their tax by having tax withheld from their income throughout the year. However, if you receive income that has no tax withheld, or does not have enough tax withheld, you may have to pay tax by instalments. For more information, go to Paying your income tax by instalments.
- Interpretation bulletins
Publications that give an interpretation of parts of the Income Tax Act.
Generally, the total value of the goods on hand that a business intends to sell, use for manufacture, or use to render a service. In certain cases, inventory can also include services.
An expenditure to acquire property that yields or is expected to yield revenue or services.
A contract under which a property is rented from one person or business to another for a fixed period of time at a specified rate.
- Legal business name
For a sole proprietorship, it is the name you use on your individual tax return.
For a partnership, it is the names of the partners or the name the business was registered under with provincial or territorial authorities.
For a corporation, it is the name that appears on the certificate of incorporation.
Use the legal business name on tax returns and legal documents.
Debt owed by a person or business.
The amount by which expenses exceed revenues.
- Multiple-unit residential building (MURB)
A rental property in either Class 31 or Class 32 that contains at least two self-contained residential units.
- Net income
Income subject to tax after allowable deductions have been subtracted from the total income.
- Non-arm's length relationship
According to the Income Tax Act, a relationship between individuals connected by blood, marriage, adoption, or otherwise. A non-arm's length relationship may also exist between individuals and partnerships or corporations.
- Non-arm's length transaction
Generally refers to a relationship or transaction between persons who are related to each other.
- Non-participating province
Means a province, territory, or any other area in Canada that has not harmonized its sales tax with the GST. For more information, go to Participating provinces.
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
NAICS codes are hierarchical numerical codes used by the member countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement to provide common definitions and descriptions of industries and their business activities. The Government of Canada, as well as the governments of the provinces and territories, use these data for economic analysis and fiscal policy responses.
- Notice of assessment
A form sent to taxpayers after we process their returns or rebate applications. It tells taxpayers or GST/HST registrants if we made any corrections to their returns or rebate applications and, if so, what they are. It also informs taxpayers or registrants if they owe more tax or what is the amount of their refund.
A statement of facts and reasons detailing why a taxpayer or registrant disagrees with an assessment or reassessment.
- Operating expenses
The routine costs of running a business. They include expenses for gasoline, electricity, and office supplies. They do not include the cost of buildings or machinery that are expected to last for several years. For more information on those types of expenses, go to Capital cost allowance.
- Outlays and expenses
These are amounts that you incur to sell a capital property. You can deduct outlays and expenses from your proceeds of disposition when calculating your capital gain or capital loss. You cannot reduce your other income by claiming a deduction for these outlays and expenses. These types of expenses include fixing-up expenses, finders' fees, commissions, brokers' fees, surveyors' fees, legal fees, transfer taxes, and advertising costs.
- Participating provinces
Provinces that have harmonized their provincial sales tax with the GST to implement the HST. Participating provinces include New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island, but do not include the Nova Scotia offshore area or the Newfoundland offshore area except to the extent that certain offshore activities are carried on in that area.
An association or relationship between two or more individuals, corporations, trusts or partnerships that join together to carry on a trade or business. Each partner contributes money, labour, property, or skills to the partnership. In return, each partner is entitled to a share of the profits or losses in the business. The business profits (or losses) are usually divided among the partners based on the partnership agreement.
- Payroll deductions
Income tax deductions, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions, and employment insurance (EI) premiums which are deducted from an employee's wages or salary and sent regularly to us. Employers also make their own contributions to the CPP or QPP, and EI.
Amounts taxpayers or registrants must pay if they fail to file returns or remit or pay amounts owing on time, or if they try to evade paying or remitting tax by not filing returns. Penalties must also be paid by people who knowingly, or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence, participate in or make false statements or omissions in their returns, and by those who do not provide the information required on a prescribed form.
- Permanent establishment
Permanent establishment of a person generally means either:
- the person's fixed place of business through which the person supplies property or services, including a place of management, a branch, an office, a factory, or a workshop; or a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry, timberland, or any other place where natural resources are extracted
- a fixed place of business of someone else (other than a broker or an agent) who is acting in Canada for the person and through whom the person supplies property or services in the ordinary course of business
- Personal tax credit return (Form TD1)
- Place of business
Means any premises, facility, or installation used to carry on business, whether or not it is used exclusively for that purpose. Premises, facilities, or installations may be considered to be a place of business whether they are owned or rented, or, in some cases, where they are simply available to the business.
- Prepaid expense
An expense you pay for in advance; an expense you incur for goods and services you will receive in a later fiscal period, amounts you pay in interest, income taxes, municipal taxes, rent, dues, or insurance for later fiscal periods. These amounts are included as assets on the balance sheet at the end of a fiscal period.
- Proceeds of disposition
This is usually the amount you received or will receive for your property. In most cases, it refers to the sale price of the property. This could also include compensation you received for property that has been destroyed, expropriated, or stolen. It is also the fair market value of property when it is transferred to another person, or when there is a change in its use.
For more information about proceeds of disposition, go to Income Tax Folio S3-F4-C1, General Discussion of Capital Cost Allowance.
- Professional corporation
A professional corporation is a corporation that carries on the professional practice of an accountant, dentist, lawyer (including notary in Quebec), medical doctor, veterinarian, or chiropractor.
- Professional dues
Membership fees paid to maintain a professional status recognized by law, such as lawyers' annual law society fees.
- Profit and loss statement
Same as an income statement.
Any property, whether real or personal, movable or immovable, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, and includes a right or interest of any kind, a share, or a chose in action, but does not include money.
- Public institution
A registered charity for income tax purposes that is also a school authority, public college, university, hospital authority, or a local authority determined to be a municipality.
- Public service body
A charity, non-profit organization, municipality, school authority, hospital authority, public college, or university.
- Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
A pension plan for people working in the province of Quebec which is equivalent to the Canada Pension Plan. The province of Quebec administers this plan.
- Rates of tax
Income tax rates are percentages of income that must be paid as tax. The Department of Finance sets the basic income tax rates.
- Real property
Real property includes:
- a mobile home or floating home and any leasehold or proprietary interest therein
- in Quebec, immovable property and every lease thereof
- in any other place in Canada, all land, buildings of a permanent nature, and any interest in real property
Documents such as account books, sales and purchase invoices, contracts, bank statements, and cancelled cheques. You must keep records for at least six years from the end of the last tax year to which the records relate. You must make these books and other documents available to our officers upon request.
An amount paid by the CRA to a taxpayer.
A person who is registered or required to be registered under GST/HST legislation.
Amounts of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), employment insurance (EI), income tax, or GST/HST that is paid to us. It also includes the employer's share of CPP contributions and EI premiums.
- Research grants
Amounts of money given to explore areas in various fields of study. The grants cover the cost of the research, including the researcher's income. These amounts are taxable but some of the research expenses may be deductible from the research grant. For more information, go to Income Tax Folio S1-F2-C3, Scholarships, Research Grants and Other Education Assistance.
- Self-employed individual
An individual who operates a business.
The operation of your own business.
- Small supplier
A person whose worldwide taxable supplies were equal to or less than $30,000 ($50,000 for public service bodies) in the last four consecutive calendar quarters combined or in any single calendar quarter.
- Social insurance number (SIN)
A number given to each contributor to the Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan, and employment insurance. It helps record the contributions and premiums paid into, and the benefits paid out of the plans. A SIN is also used as an identifier for federal income tax purposes. Everyone who files an income tax and benefit return must provide a SIN.
- Sole proprietorship
An unincorporated business entirely owned by one person.
- Statement of income and expenses
- Statement of remuneration paid (T4 slip)
Information slip that shows the income that an employer pays to an employee. Taxable allowances and benefits, such as payments made on the employee's behalf to a provincial health care plan, are included as income. A T4 slip also shows how much the employer deducted for income tax, Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan contributions, employment insurance premiums, and contributions to the employer's pension plan.
For GST/HST purposes, this generally means the provision of property or a service in any manner, including sale, transfer, barter, exchange, licence, rental, lease, gift, or disposition.
- Tax assessment
A formal determination of taxes to be paid or refunded. An assessment includes a reassessment. For more information, go to Notice of assessment: Understanding your NOA.
- Tax centres
Offices in different regions of Canada where we process tax returns. For the locations and telephone numbers of these centers, go to Find a CRA address.
- Tax Court of Canada
A court that hears appeals about income tax and GST/HST assessments. In addition, the Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals under the Excise Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, 2001, the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance Act and several other acts. The Tax Court maintains four offices (Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montréal) and regularly conducts hearings in major centres across Canada.
- Tax payable
- Tax treaties
Government agreements signed between countries, to help citizens from avoiding double taxation on income earned from foreign sources.
- Taxable benefits
Amounts of money, or the value of goods or services, that an employer pays or provides in addition to salary. For example, the part of a health insurance plan that the employer pays is a taxable benefit.
- Taxable income
- Taxable supplies
- Tax year
- Terminal loss
You have a terminal loss when you have no more property in the class at the end of the year but there is still a balance of undepreciated capital cost remaining in the class.
For more information, go to Income Tax Folio S3-F4-C1, General Discussion of Capital Cost Allowance.
- Undepreciated capital cost (UCC)
Generally, the UCC is equal to the total capital cost of all the depreciable property of the class minus the capital cost allowance (CCA) you claimed in previous years. This means that the CCA you claim each year reduces the UCC of the property.
If you sell depreciable property in a year, you also have to subtract from the UCC one of the following two amounts, whichever is less:
- the proceeds of disposition of the property minus the related outlays and expenses
- the capital cost of the property
- Workers' compensation
Money paid to compensate a worker for wages lost due to a workplace injury. It is an insurance plan paid for by employers and administered by the Workers' Compensation Board.
- Zero-emission passenger vehicle (ZEPV)
An automobile that is owned by the taxpayer and is included in Class 54 (but would otherwise be included in Class 10 or 10.1). The rules that apply to the definition of passenger vehicles apply to ZEPVs. A ZEPV does not include a leased passenger vehicle, but other vehicles that would otherwise qualify as a ZEPV if owned by the taxpayer are subject to the same leasing deduction restrictions as passenger vehicles.
- Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV)
It is a motor vehicle that is owned by the taxpayer where all of the following conditions are met:
- is a plug-in hybrid with a battery capacity of at least 7kWh or is either fully:
- powered by hydrogen
- is acquired, and becomes available for use, after March 18, 2019, and before 2028
- has not been used or acquired for use for any purpose before it was acquired by the taxpayer
- is a vehicle for which an amount has not been deducted as CCA and a terminal loss has not been claimed by another person or partnership
- is a plug-in hybrid with a battery capacity of at least 7kWh or is either fully:
If the property was acquired after March 1, 2020, it may have been used, but a vehicle that was subject to a prior CCA or terminal loss claim cannot have been acquired by the taxpayer on tax-deferred "rollover" basis nor previously owned or acquired by the taxpayer or a non-arm's length person or partnership.
- is a vehicle for which:
- an election has not been made to forgo the Class 54 or 55 treatment
- assistance has not been provided by the Government of Canada under the new incentive announced on March 19, 2019
- Zero-rated supply
A limited number of supplies of goods and services that are taxable at the rate of 0%. This means that you do not charge GST/HST on these supplies. However, taxpayers can claim an input tax credit to recover the GST/HST they paid or owe on purchases made to provide them.
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