Navigating the tax world doesn’t have to feel like finding your way through a maze. Enter the T2125 form: your passport to simplifying the tax process. It’s where you showcase all your hard work over the past year, declaring the income you’ve earned as well as the expenses you’ve incurred in order to thrive in your business or profession.

Here’s what you need to know about filing your self-employed taxes and the deductions you’re entitled to this year.

Key Takeaways
  1. If you control the terms of your work, supply your own tools, and integrate client activities into your business, you likely meet the criteria for self-employment, regardless of income consistency or number of clients.
  2. From advertising to salaries, knowing what you can claim can significantly impact your tax burden. Don’t overlook deductions like home office expenses or capital cost allowances, which can add up to substantial savings.
  3. Don’t forget to file your 2023 taxes by the June 17 deadline. The balance due needs to be paid by April 30 to avoid interest charges.

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What is form T2125?

The T2125 form is a Statement of Business or Professional Activities that is used to calculate your income as a self-employed person. Use the T2125 form to report your income and expenses if you are the only person in the business (sole proprietorship) or if you are in business with up to five other people (partnership).

How is income tax on your business paid in Canada?

You’ll pay income tax on your business’ net profit at both the federal and provincial or territorial level.

Registration for Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is required within 30 days of your business revenue reaching $30,000 within or over any four consecutive quarter periods. You will have to collect it from your customers and remit it to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

How to file self-employed taxes

To file self-employed taxes, you must first understand the definition of “self-employed.” You are self-employed if you control the time, place, and manner of performing your activities; supply your own equipment and tools, and assume the rental and maintenance costs; make a profit or incur a loss, and cover operating costs; and integrate your client’s activities into your own business activities.

This applies even if your income is earned sporadically, as part of a side gig, or from multiple clients; in this case you would still have to pay self-employed or freelance taxes.

You should also understand the difference between business income and professional income.

  • You have business income when you sell a product or provide a service for profit. It includes sales, commissions, or fees. You may or may not get a T-slip indicating that income.
  • Professional income is the same as business income, except that you’re getting paid as a member of an officially recognized profession that has a governing body (e.g., engineer, health professional, lawyer, or accountant).

If you have different businesses or professions, use separate T2125 forms for each source of income.

Still confused about how we pay taxes on self-employed income in Canada? Use T4002: Self-employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income as a guide. It is intended for sole proprietors or members of a partnership.

What expenses can I claim for my business?

Business expenses you can claim include the following:

  • Advertising
  • Rent
  • Business use of home or home-office expenses
  • Motor vehicle expenses
  • Legal fees, interest, and bank charges
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Travel expenses
  • T2125 expenses
  • Salaries paid to employees
  • Capital cost allowance (CCA)
  • Meals and entertainment

How do I fill out a T2125 form?

You can fill out a T2125 form more easily than you may think, by following these 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Provide identifying information

In this section, you’ll enter basic information about your business, including its name, address, main product or service, and business number (if you’ve registered it with the CRA). You’ll also need to indicate the time period during which you conducted your business activities, the accounting method you used, and, if you have a partnership, its business number and your percentage of its income and expenses. Each of your partners will have to file a T2125 form, but if there are more than five partners, they will have to file a T5013 Partnership Information Return.

Step 2: Enter income earned

In this section, you’ll enter your business and professional income, gross income, and gross profit after deducting applicable costs such as wages paid and the value of your inventory.

Step 3: Enter expenses

The next step is to enter your applicable expenses, such as advertising and insurance. Certain expenses—for instance, for your home office or capital property—may require some additional calculations.

You can also claim motor vehicle expenses. Whether you have a dedicated vehicle or use your own, make sure to maintain a mileage log of business-related trips and retain all receipts of vehicle expenses. Only those related to earning business income can be deducted.

Use Area A in the T2125 form to calculate the business-use portion of your vehicle. Then, add the result to the expenses in Part 4.

What is capital cost allowance?

Capital cost allowance (CCA) refers to the depreciation of furniture, tools, vehicles, equipment, and other assets utilized in business or professional activities. Instead of deducting the full cost in the year of purchase, the cost is spread out over time based on the asset’s class. The form allows you to keep track of your CCA from year to year.

Calculate your CCA by using Area A of your T2125 form. You may need to refer to your form T2125 from the previous year to fill out this part. It’s important to complete it even if you are not claiming a CCA deduction, so you can demonstrate any additions or dispositions made throughout the year.

When are self-employed taxes due?

Self-employed individuals and small-business owners have until June 17 to file their return and avoid incurring penalties on any balance due.

  • Although the deadline is normally June 15, since it falls on a weekend this year, you have until the following Monday.
  • The balance due needs to be paid by April 30 to avoid interest charges.

Your self-employed taxes made simple

The T2125 form is your guide to navigating the often complicated process of filing your taxes when you work for yourself. Now that you’ve learned how to fill it out, you can traverse the tax world with confidence, ensuring that your filings accurately reflect your entrepreneurial journey while maximizing your deductions along the way.

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