Tax Filing for Self Employed

Get the best outcome on your self-employment taxes

Whether you're a small business owner, independent contractor, freelancer, or have a side hustle, do your taxes your way with TurboTax and keep your hard-earned money.


What do the self-employed need to know about filing taxes?

Find out if you’re earning self-employment income

According to the CRA, you are self-employed if you act as an independent contractor, a sole proprietor or a business partner, and provide a service or product with an expectation of profit. This includes freelancers, small business owners, consultants, and side giggers.


Claim every self-employment deduction

No matter how much self-employed income you’re earning, you can deduct your business expenses to lower the amount of tax you owe. Use our self-employment expenses tax calculator to get an estimate on your taxes.


Know what information you need to track and report

If you’re self-employed in Canada, you’re responsible for tracking all your business income and expenses. This will help you file on time with the right deduction. Download our self-employed tax checklist to help you get organized.


Why self-employed Canadians file their taxes with us

So Much Easier!

“I had a few things I was unsure about as a first-year self-employed individual and having the call with the tax expert was a LIFE-SAVER!”

Z - Calgary, AB


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The Complete Guide on Collecting GST/HST for Self-Employed Canadians

Frequently asked questions on self-employed tax filing

Everything from office supplies to vehicle costs can be written off, providing the expense is related to your business, you have the supporting documentation and the expense is reasonable.

It depends on your situation, but a good benchmark is to set aside 25% to 30% of your income earned to cover self-employed taxes including federal income tax, provincial income tax, and GST/HST sales tax.

CPP contributions from self-employment are based on the net income of your self-employment. You make contributions only on your annual earnings between minimum and maximum amounts. These are called your pensionable earnings. The minimum amount is frozen at $3,500. In 2023, the CPP earnings ceiling is $66,600. The self-employed contribution rate on these pensionable earnings is 11.4%. Self-employed workers do not have to pay EI premiums, unless you opt into the EI benefits for self-employed program.

Yes. You can be an employee and an independent contractor (i.e. self-employed) at the same time. It’s very common to have more than one job, or do a side hustle along with your full-time employment.

To determine if you’re considered an employee or an independent contractor, it depends on the:

  1. nature of the work relationship
  2. level of control over who does the work
  3. ownership of tools and equipment
  4. opportunity of profit or risk of loss

Side gigs, freelance work, and contract payments are all forms of income that need to be reported on your self-employed tax return. If you’re carrying on some form of business activity, report it—even if you’re not profitable yet.

To file your GST/HST return you need to take care of some things first including:

registering for your GST or HST number selecting an accounting method confirming the due dates for your return

To do the calculations for your GST/HST return you need the following info:

1. Total sales and other revenue

2. Total tax you’ve collected

3. Total tax you’ve paid

4. Any other credits or debits

This info helps you calculate if you owe money to the CRA or if you will receive a refund.

To submit your GST/HST return to the CRA:

1. You can file a paper return with the CRA. For this option, you need the GST34-2 filing information package.

2. You can file online through GST/HST NETFILE or GST/HST TELEFILE. For this option, you’d need a GST/HST Access Code from the CRA.

If you choose to get your taxes done by a tax expert (through TurboTax Live Full Service Self-Employed), they’ll do your GST/HST return for free!