Business or Hobby
by Independent Consultant
When does a hobby become a business in CRA's eyes?
I have started as an independent consultant with a direct sales company as a hobby.
I have made no income. When must I start claiming as a business on my taxes?
Check out what CRA's publication IT-334R2 Miscellaneous Receipts
11. In order for any activity or pursuit to be regarded as a source of income, there must be a reasonable expectation of profit. Where such an expectation does not exist (as is the case with most hobbies), neither amounts received nor expenses incurred are included in the income computation for tax purposes and any excess of expenses over receipts is a personal or living expense, the deduction of which is denied by paragraph 18(1)(h). On the other hand, if the hobby or pastime results in receipts of revenue in excess of expenses, that fact is a strong indication that the hobby is a venture with an expectation of profit; if so, the net income may be taxable as income from a business. The current version of IT-504, Visual Artists and Writers, discusses the concept of "a reasonable expectation of profit" in greater detail. Where a hobby consists of collecting personal-use property or listed personal property, dispositions should be accounted for as described in the current version of IT-332, Personal-Use Property.