Business expenses

Region: Ontario Answer # 194

Sole proprietors, partners, and corporations can reduce the amount of tax they pay by deducting allowable business expenses from their income before applying taxes. Allowable expenses only include business expenses that were incurred for the sole purpose of earning business income, and not personal or living expenses.

Types of deductible business expenses

There are many different types of business expenses.

Some of the main business expenses that can be deducted from business income include:

  • Accounting and legal fees
  • Expenses for advertising
  • Fees and licenses necessary for business
  • Employee salaries
  • Office supplies
  • Business telephone expenses
  • Business travel expenses
  • Interest and bank charges, and
  • Up to 50% of meals and entertainment that you pay for the purpose of earning business income

Work from home expenses

If you run a business out of your home, you can usually also deduct partial expenses of:

  • Rent
  • Mortgage payments
  • Insurance
  • Electricity, and
  • Cleaning supplies


When can expenses be claimed?

Business expenses can only be claimed in the year they are incurred and you must have been in business during that time. If Canada Revenue Agency audits you or your business, you will usually have to provide dated receipts or purchase agreements for every expense you deducted from your income. Deducting business expenses can substantially reduce the amount of tax that you or your business pays.

For additional information about business expenses, visit Canada.ca.

For legal advice and assistance with tax planning, a CRA tax dispute, or other tax issues, contact Tax Chambers LLP

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