Small businesses: Making sense of tax-related information

An entrepreneur starting up a business activity has a thousand things to think about. In situations such as these, tax-related issues may seem time-consuming and complex. Are they something that should be delegated?

Well aware of how difficult it is for small businesses to find their way around the subject of taxation, the Canada Revenue Agency announced some new initiatives in 2014 to help businesses further comply with and support tax laws. To that end, Liaison Officers now provide in-person information to SMEs “at key points in their business cycle [1]."

During these information sessions, the CRA reminds small businesses that they must stay informed of their obligations and their rights. All too often, businesses defer to tax preparers to handle these aspects. According to the CRA, about 70% of individuals and small businesses rely on this type of service. Yet, if errors arise, the responsibility falls on the taxpayer, who could be subject to a CRA audit. It is therefore essential to broaden one’s knowledge of tax-related matters.

A couple of examples of frequently asked questions:

  • Operating a business from one’s residence: Is it possible to deduct part of the expenses related to the use of the residence, within reason, according to the amount of space dedicated to managing the company’s activities?
  • Input tax credits (ITCs): If the business is a GST/HST registrant, can this credit be claimed when filing a GST/HST return in order to recover the GST/HST paid or payable on business purchases and expenses related to commercial activities?

It is in this same context that Acclr – Business Services is offering two new CRA training workshops:

  • Tax-related information for the self-employed: start off on the right foot
  • Tax-related information for incorporated businesses: start off on the right foot.

From choosing a business structure and the delicate reporting of eligible expenses, to the GST/HST and tax credits, this complete workshop is highly relevant for small businesses that are just starting up, while also serving as an excellent refresher for companies with more experience. The CRA can clear up any ambiguity by providing direct answers to registered participants’ questions.

Other resources:

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