Did you know that Vancouver has one of the highest concentrations of self-employed entrepreneurs in Canada?

If you’re self-employed there are a number of business-related expenses you can claim. Keep all your business related receipts, invoices, and any other records of these associate costs and take full advantage of all available deductions. You can write off automobile expenses including parking, gas and insurance, home-office expenses for space at home devoted to business activities, meals & entertainment, convention expenses from two convention trips per year, phone and computer (including depreciation of your computer) and a range of other things.

In some  circumstances, you can deduct private health-care premiums as a business expense rather than a medical expense.

A word of caution: if you claim home-office expenses, you’re likely better off not to claim the depreciation on the home-office portion of your home. Although this will give you a deduction in the current year, you will lose some of the capital gains protection available from the principal-residence exemption.

And finally, if you have business losses from prior years, you may only want to use sufficient losses to offset income taxed at the higher tax brackets and keep some losses to offset similar high-rate income in the future. You should not use losses to reduce income below your non-refundable tax credits.

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