You may think it is just a hobby, but CRA may disagree.

CRA wants its fair share if you are earning money through a little side hustle, business activity, or another extra gig. The agency believes many tax dollars in the past may have gone uncollected, and they aren’t happy about it.
How and where you make money is shifting, and CRA has been paying close attention to what is referred to as “platform economies.”

A platform economy is simply a platform that brings buyers and sellers together through the internet or mobile apps. These sources are gaining traction and popularity and could be significant contributors to household income that has gone unreported.
Let’s break down the platform economies.

This one isn’t new, and many will tell you that to make ends meet, the gig economy is where it is at.
You provide service on a short-term basis, pick up a contract for a period of time, or go the freelance route. Companies tend to hire independent contractors or freelancers in a gig economy, often through online platforms or apps. These workers are typically considered to be self-employed instead of employees. The money they make is considered to be income.
It is important to note that the gig economy is very different than the sharing economy, which is also under the spotlight of CRA.

This is where money is earned from unused assets such as a room in a home or cottage or a vehicle.
Think ridesharing, bike rentals, boats, machinery, or equipment.
If you are using your personal assets to generate additional income by sharing them, CRA wants to know about it. 

People will sell their goods or services from one person directly to another person.
The second-hand economy is booming: think Posh Mark, Kijiji, eBay, or Etsy, to name a few.
Before you panic, CRA isn’t likely interested in last year’s Lululemon pants you decided to resell for a fraction of the cost.
However, they are likely interested if you are a buyer snapping up deals and reselling for a profit.

We all know someone making money off a social media platform through product placement, endorsement, or promotion. They become a brand ambassador and motivate others to buy a product or service.
This, too, could be very lucrative via advertising revenue and is also very visible to CRA.
It doesn’t take a lot of investigation to go online to determine who is doing what.
If you are getting paid, CRA wants to know about it too. The audit will happen.

As the landscape has shifted, so too have the means to identify those who aren’t reporting income.
CRA will go to great lengths to check out people on social media and try to connect the dots.
In other words, an endorsement for a big brand but little income reported warrants suspicion of tax evasion and an audit. Or, if you rent a room via Airbnb, it will show up, as CRA has proven its effectiveness at gaining access to anyone registered with any online platform.

Now it isn’t all bad news. Yes, you have to report all of the income generated, but you will also be able to deduct all the expenses incurred to generate the income. So your crafting hobby is likely fine if it costs you more to make something than what you can sell it for. 

If you are uncertain and fear you may have crossed the line, reach out to CRA. Consider doing so via the Voluntary Disclosures Program. Voluntary only applies if you are unaware of CRA taking any compliance action against you. Be sure to include all the relevant information and income generated and the potential estimate of tax owing.
​You know if you have been generating unreported income, so the ball is in your court. You might want to consider calling CRA before they come calling for you.



Events & Sponsorship

Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference @ Mississauga

May 08, 2019 Our B.E.S.T. (Business Entrepreneurs Services Team) Group has participated in this event for first time. Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference and Trade Show is the largest Entrepreneurs event in Canada. The event which targets business owners, partners or...

Hispanic Fiesta 2018

September 04, 2018 RGB Accounting will participate in this event for a second year in a row. Hispanic Fiesta will be held at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto during the Labour Day Weekend, August 31st, Sept. 1, 2, & 3, 2018. Hispanic Fiesta is a four-day celebration...

Secure Your Future Seminar 2018

June 20, 2018 This event gathered business owners running a small or medium-sized business, self-employed and incorporated businesses willing to learn tax saving strategies to help them utilize their company assets to secure their retirement. We are proud of having...

2nd Latino Business Expo Show

May 19, 2018 The 2nd Latino Business Expo Show held on May 19th at Daniels Spectrum gathered a wide range of entrepreneurs and business owners avid to learn how to take their businesses to the next level. RGB Accounting participated as vendor and speaker at this...

Hispanic Fiesta 2017

September 04, 2017 Hispanic Fiesta, a celebration of Spanish and Latin-American: Arts, Food, Music and Entertainment, is a four-day celebration filled with the splendid sounds, tempting treats and colorful culture featuring 300 local, national and International...

Articles & Publications

Budget 2021: What’s missing?

The Liberal government has laid out billions in fresh spending after over two years without a federal budget — and while many of the government’s recent pledges graced its pages, others were notably absent. It’s possible some policies were pushed out of reach...

2021 Canadian Federal Budget – Tax Initiatives

On April 19, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled in the House of Commons the Liberal Government’s first federal budget in more than two years, A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience (Budget 2021). Budget 2021 contains...

The importance of Financial Reporting

Beyond the record creation process, accountants use the information gathered for analysis and interpretation. Accountants are usually concerned with understanding the meaning of the amounts they obtain, and they look for the relationship between business events and...

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