Back to: December 2019


Home Office Tax Deductible Expenses
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One of the great virtues of starting a home business is the tax breaks you can claim. However, claiming aggressive write-offs is a sure way to attract CRA auditors. In this article, we'll look at some of the more popular home business write-offs as well as some tips on how you can legitimately claim them.

1. Keep business records
If you wish to claim tax deductibles on your home office expenses, you must get into the record-keeping mindset. You need to establish a means of keeping track of the money that is coming in and the money that is going out. Being audited is not the end of the world. However, being audited and not having the records to back up your deductions can be a nightmare.

The more detailed your accounts are, the easier it will be to face an audit. Compiling your daily reports into a monthly tracking sheet will drastically shorten the time it takes you to get your taxes together, and it will have the added benefit of providing a snapshot of your business month-to-month.

2. Write-off your workspace
Writing off a home office can be particularly attractive if you have a line of work that can be neatly confined to a dedicated room. You can still write off part of a shared room, but in either case, the space is calculated as a percentage of the total house or apartment area. That percentage is applied to all the related costs, including utilities, insurance, rent or mortgage payments and so on.

3. Update your business equipment
Office furniture, software, computers and other equipment are all 100% deductible within the year that the cost is incurred - you don't need to depreciate. There is an upper limit and the purchases must be majority-usage (primarily used) and necessary or helpful for business.

4. Business phone and internet
If chatting with clients is a necessary part of your business, it may be worth getting a second phone line or a dedicated business cell phone, as both of these are 100% deductible. If you only converse with clients occasionally, you can still write off the costs by noting the dates, times and reasons for the calls and then circling the items on your regular phone bill to deduct at tax time.

You can also deduct part of the cost of your internet if you use it for business. There is no absolute percentage to use, but it will be difficult to write off more than 50% if other members of your family are using it for non-business purposes. Be reasonable and pick a defensible percentage that you won't regret in the case of an audit.

5. Entertainment expenses
You can wine and dine clients (preferably paying or likely to pay clients) and get a tax break. The tendency for business owners at all levels to abuse this write-off has scared many home business owners away from claiming it. However, it is acceptable for you to take out a client for a meal and some entertainment. It will be easier to defend a $200 deduction for a client who has brought you a lot of business than the same meal for a buddy who paid you $20 for an hour's work over the entire fiscal year.

6. Take a trip, not a vacation
Have to hit the road to expand your market? Save your receipts. On business trips, your travel expenses are 100% deductible and your food expenses can be deducted at 50% of the total. Keep all of your receipts because even things like dry cleaning and tips are considered a necessary expense when you're out pounding the pavement in new markets.

7. Automobile expenses
When it comes to automobile expenses, you can claim registration, repairs, oil changes and gas. But it’s important you keep a log of the kilometres you are travelling for business on a daily basis, because you may need to prove how frequently you use your car for business.
 
8. Employ (not just pay) your family
You can use family members as employees and deduct their salaries as long as you account for their work and pay the going rate. If you have a business that lends itself to having a spouse and kids help out, then use that labour pool. You'll likely pay less than market rates for the help, and you can deduct insurance premiums for them as well.

9. Make justifiable deductions
Just because you have a home business doesn't mean you can go crazy with deductions. If you don't think you can face down an auditor with detailed proofs justifying the deduction, then perhaps it isn't a deduction you should be taking.

The CRA's T2125 form — Statement of Business or Professional Activities — needs to be filled out to claim these expenses. Page 3 of this form deals with the calculation of what is called business-use-of-home expenses.

Most tax software programs will let taxpayers claim home office expenses, although you may want to upgrade to a more expensive version that caters to the self-employed or small-business owners.

Working from home can result in big tax savings. But the rules are strict and the paperwork can be formidable. It might be wise for first-time claimants to seek the help of a professional.

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With Compliments of

Michele Vyge-Fraser
Real Estate Agent/ Associate Broker/ CNE®


Red Door Realty
1314 Martello Road
Chapter House
Halifax, Nova Scotia,
T: 902-830-6397
NovaScotiaRealEstate@gmail.com
www.RedDoorRealty.ca

Hello!

Thank you for taking the time to open my newsletter. I hope you are finding the articles and links useful, relevant and interesting. As always, thank you for your support and for your business!

The question on most people's minds seems to be 'what will happen to our prices this year?' While some of the out of province larger markets are more subject to price fluctuations, we are fortunate that our local Halifax market still seems to be staying the course of steady progressive growth. Last year, 2019, our market tipped over to a sellers market with prices increasing almost across the board, especially for well maintained properties. 2020 is forecasted to be a continuation of the same. So is this the right time to buy or sell? Since real estate markets are cyclical, each year offers different levels of buying and selling opportunities so, in my opinion, it very much depends on your next 5-7 year goals.

Please contact me anytime to discuss your property's current market value, your possible buying or selling plans or to request a timely general market overview. In the meantime I have included a snapshot of our HRM 2019 solds by 'season' below to help you track and compare the market as we move forward into 2020.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards, Michele    


2019 Halifax Regional Municipal MLS® Solds by Season 

January to March

  • 1144 Sold MLS® Listings

April to June

  • 2639 Sold MLS® Listings

July to September

  • 1538 Sold MLS® Listings

October to December

  • 718 Sold MLS® Listings



NATIONAL MORTGAGE RATES
Term Posted
Rates*
Best
Rates*
6 Months 3.34% 3.30%
1 Year 3.59% 3.04%
2 Years 3.74% 2.89%
3 Years 3.89% 2.79%
4 Years 3.95% 2.95%
5 Years 5.34% 2.69%
7 Years 5.80% 2.99%
10 Years 6.10% 3.04%
Variable Rate 2.90%
Prime Rate ** 3.95%
*last updated: Jan 13,2020


www.RedDoorRealty.ca

Halifax Mortgage Specialist Bruce Lusby 

(902) 210-0515

http://mortgageweb.ca/BruceLusby

Halifax, Nova Scotia - updated Oct 6, 2015

Variable:

5yr @ Prime - .65% (2.05%)

HELOC @ Prime +.25% (2.95%)

Fixed:
1yr 2.29%
2yr 2.09%
3yr 2.24%
4yr 2.54%
5yr 2.54%
6yr 3.39%
7yr 3.44%
10yr 3.84%

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The material in this publication is provided for your informational purpose only and is not intended to substitute professional advice. If your property is currently listed with a Real Estate Broker, this publication is not intended as a solicitation.