Self-employed? Discuss to a CPA lengthy earlier than submitting your taxes

When you’re self-employed, working with an accountant forward of tax season might help you put together your recordsdata—and funds (Getty Pictures/EmirMemedovski)

Tax time might be tough for nearly anybody, however this may be very true for many who work for themselves. Turning to a CPA when submitting—or higher but, within the months earlier than—might help scale back the inevitable headache and presumably the sum of money owed in late charges or missed deductions via a number of well-prepared steps.


CPA Bob Gore, founding father of Robert Gore & Associates Chartered Skilled Accountants, says a typical error is the “prepared, purpose, hearth” strategy that some individuals take with their enterprise. “Probably the most important downside,” he says, “is what I might name group and construction, the place individuals soar proper out of the gate and assume they should set up their enterprise in a specific method.” 

To start out, Gore recommends connecting with a CPA who can direct you to the required varieties for self-employed enterprise earnings, such because the T2125, Assertion of Enterprise or Skilled Actions. In flip, the proprietor might want to present their CPA with a greater understanding of their precise enterprise. Doing so permits their accountant to higher advise them on monitoring bills, whether or not to register for a GST or HST account—in addition to help along with your registration, if attainable, and extra.


For these shifting from being a salaried worker to self-employed, saving for quarterly tax funds might be neglected (after being accustomed to having computerized EI and CPP deductions). 

After the primary 12 months, “When you owe greater than $3,000 in earnings tax, the CRA desires you to make quarterly instalments,” says FCPA Colleen Gibb, co-founder of accounting agency Gibb-Widdis, noting this may create a cash-flow problem. 

When accumulating GST/HST from purchasers, Gore reminds that this cash should be put aside because it needs to be paid to the CRA.

Accountants, she says, might help put together a finances and guarantee sufficient is put aside to keep away from cash-flow challenges. “I discover most individuals can cope very properly in the event that they know what they’re going to owe.” 

It will be significant that your tax return is filed on time and tax funds are usually not late to make sure curiosity and penalties don’t come up. 


If you’re self-employed, you could not want a enterprise quantity—at the very least to not begin. When you do want a enterprise quantity, you’ll want to find out if that you must register for packages similar to GST or HST. Throughout Canada, a GST or HST quantity is barely required as soon as a enterprise makes $30,000 yearly. Under that threshold, registration is just not obligatory. 

Nonetheless, Gore says that lacking the chance to register is a typical error as a result of “the HST they’re paying on their bills is only a value fairly than a doubtlessly recoverable merchandise,” similar to via enter tax credit, he says. To keep away from this, an accountant can evaluation a self-employed particular person’s enterprise and advise on the necessity to get hold of a enterprise quantity and register for GST/HST, in addition to find out how to set that up.   


Remembering to report bills in actual time might be tough for many individuals. 

“The largest secret’s ensuring that you could account for all of the transactions in your financial institution assertion or bank card and have all of the invoices,” says FCPA Bruce Ball, vice-president of taxation at CPA Canada. 

Buying this behavior will simplify tax preparation and alleviate the painstaking try and recuperate every enterprise buy made all year long.

Preserving enterprise bills separate from private funds is one other step to streamline information. 

“Use a separate checking account for the enterprise and designate one cost card for it,” says Gibb. “If audited, the CRA will solely have a look at that checking account and people bank card statements.”


Whereas making a system to trace bills is necessary, understanding which bills might be claimed can also be a key for companies.

Right here, a CPA might help convert pre-existing life bills—similar to dwelling workplace and automobile bills—to enterprise bills to maximise the claimable quantity. Gore says this may be recorded in a fundamental Excel spreadsheet or via software program similar to Quicken Residence and Enterprise—relying on the person’s consolation stage.

“The crucial factor is to get your self organized and bear in mind that that you must maintain observe of all of it for functions of with the ability to declare prices for enterprise fairly than private spending,” he says.

Of all claimable prices, leisure charges have probably the most restrictions. “Solely 50 per cent of these bills are deductible,” says Gibb.

She advises that individuals write down who they dined with on the again of the receipt and file that away, because the CRA is not going to settle for a bank card assertion for this declare.   


Whereas some individuals could also be hesitant to ask for steering lengthy earlier than tax season, the advantages can’t be neglected. 

“Even spending an hour speaking to a CPA pays dividends,” says Gibb. “Now you’ll know what to anticipate, what to put aside when the issues are due and what to observe for.”


This text features a common abstract of detailed tax guidelines. Want particular tax recommendation? Rent a chartered skilled accountant (CPA) and get the very best working for you. Go to the web site of your provincial or regional CPA physique to entry a CPA listing.

CPA Canada additionally has a wealth of non-public tax info you’ll be able to entry on a variety of topics. Plus, uncover tax suggestions when submitting for an unincorporated enterprise, what to be careful for as an included enterprise and the way a CPA might help budding entrepreneurs arrange a profitable small enterprise.

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