It doesn’t matter if you are on the road as a owner-operator trucker or fleet-owner in the Transportation or Construction industry, or if you are in the city operating a Hospitality, Restaurant or Office related business – tax season is an opportunity for you and your company to make significant savings.
Below we’ve outlined six tips that could help you this tax season.
Home office write-offs
If you use a space in your home or have a home office allocated to your business and to regularly meet clients, you could deduct a portion of your entire home’s expenses.
These expenses include heat, electricity, home insurance, etc. Don’t forget you can also include a portion of your property taxes, mortgage interest or rent as well as maintenance costs or minor repairs that relate to your working space.
To calculate the percentage eligible for these deductions – divide the area of your office or working space by the total area of your home.
Claim all your business-related expenses
There is a long list of business-related expenses that business owners can deduct, which makes it really important to save and record each receipt you have.
Don’t forget to claim advertising and sales expenses, professional services (e.g: Your tax accountant), meals with clients and travel expenses. Did you know you can claim professional memberships and subscriptions, office supplies as well as equipment, communications devices like your phone as well as the internet providers costs and all associated vehicle expenses if it is used in your business (e.g.: gas, insurance, repairs/maintenance, loan interest or lease costs)
Claim investment tax credits
There are numerous investment tax credit available to business of all sizes, including corporations, partnerships or sole proprietors and if your business qualifies for them, they are a great way to invest in your company while bringing a considerable reduction in taxes.
In some parts of Canada, you could apply a percentage of your costs to acquiring buildings, machinery or equipment used in farming, fishing and manufacturing.
Research and Development Tax Credits aren’t just for high tech corporations, but may apply to any new product development, or manufacturing techniques or even ways to reduce environmental impact.
Is it time to Incorporate your business?
If you don’t need to take all the earnings from your business for your personal income and can leave some in your business – it might be time to incorporate your business to qualify for a lower tax rate.
This also give you flexibility in how you pay yourself in the most tax-efficient manner, which could by by salary, bonuses or even dividends. If your spouse is a shareholder in your business, dividends is a great way to split both your income.
Lease your equipment instead of buying outright
Leasing keeps your cash flow maximized and bring great tax advantages
If you purchase your equipment, you can only write off the interest, but not the entire loan payment. However, if you lease your equipment, you can deduct the full amount of each lease payment which can offer tremendous tax deductions at year end.
Below are both a simple and more robust Canadian tax calculators that you can use to estimate your returns.
This article is not meant as tax advice, check with your accountant for legal tax advice.