Tax Filing for Self Employed

Self-employed tax filing made easy

Are you a small business owner, independent contractor, freelancer, or have a side hustle? Do your taxes your way and keep more of your hard-earned money.

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Get every tax dollar you deserve

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Step-by-step guidance

Tell us about your year and we’ll add all the forms you need for self-employed, freelance, and rental property income and expenses.

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Never miss a tax break

Home office, vehicle, subscriptions and more— if there’s a self-employment deduction you can get, we’ll help you claim it.

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Choose Assist & Review to get unlimited expert help as you do your taxes, or Full Service to have an expert do them for you.

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Personal and business income taxes, with unlimited expert help

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A tax expert helps find expenses and deductions for your business
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A tax expert prepares, reviews, and files your taxes from start to finish
A tax expert prepares and files your GST/HST return

What you need to know about filing self-employed income taxes

Determine if you’re earning self-employed 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.

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Claim every self-employed 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.

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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 deductions. Download our self-employed tax checklist to help you get organized.

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Get the best outcome with an expert, guaranteed*

Need to speak with a real tax expert? With TurboTax Assist & Review, you get unlimited tax expert help and a final review of your return before filing. Or, choose TurboTax Full Service to have your taxes done and filed by an expert for you—from start to finish.

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Frequently asked questions

If you're self-employed, you have until June 17, 2024 to file your tax return. But remember, any balance owed must still be paid by April 30, 2024. If you have self-employment income, it's a good idea to prepare your tax return well before April 30 to calculate if you have a balance owed. This will help you avoid any late-payment penalties.

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 2022, the CPP earnings ceiling is $64,900. 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:

  • Nature of the work relationship
  • Level of control over who does the work
  • Ownership of tools and equipment
  • 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:

  • Total sales and other revenue
  • Total tax you’ve collected
  • Total tax you’ve paid
  • 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:

  • You can file a paper return with the CRA. For this option, you need the GST34-2 filing information package.
  • 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 at no additional cost.

Why customers love TurboTax

TurboTax has empowered over 1 million people.

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“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, Alberta

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“Excellent service”

“When I became self-employed, I decided to use Full Service. This is my second year with tax expert Natalija. I give her 10 out of 10. I look forward to working again with her for the years to come.”

Joe, Toronto, Ontario

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“Doing taxes made easy”

“TurboTax Self-Employed is very intuitive to use and self-explanatory. Doing one's taxes has never been that easy!”

M, Vancouver, British Columbia

Includes reviews for TurboTax from previous years.

Tips for self-employed tax filers

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The Beginner’s Guide to Self-Employed Taxes

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The Big List of Small Business Tax Deductions

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