Workshop Tax Deduction

by Colette
(Sudbury, Ontario, Canada)

Are workshops the same as conferences?

Started a new home business involving dance lessons. We are frequently attending ( 4 to 5 times a year) what we call workshops. We learn new dances at these events and bring them back to our classes.

I'm wondering if these workshops are the same as conferences and would therefore be restricted to 2 per year. Most workshops are out of town and require lodging, meal expenses and travel costs.

image of fancy scroll lines

Hey Colette,

Great question.

The CRA publication IT-357R2 Expenses of Training has a paragraph about this issue.

9. A training course should be distinguished from a convention, which may be described as a formal meeting of members of an organization or association for professional or business purposes. Unlike a training course which generally has a classroom format for teaching a subject in accordance with a formal course of study, a convention does not normally have a classroom format and those attending are normally not expected to study text-books, prepare assignments or take tests. A convention does not become a training course when some of its sessions take the form of workshops. It is a question of fact whether a "seminar" is a convention or a training course. While conventions usually result in the acquisition of knowledge by those attending them, the deduction of convention expenses is specifically covered by subsection 20(10) and is subject to the limitations contained in the provisions of that subsection (see the current version of IT-131*).

In this publication, other determining factors are discussed such as:

  • location of workshops

  • duration of the workshops

  • how many days when no training took place

  • was a new skill / qualification acquired that has lasting benefit? ... costs must be capitalized

  • or does it maintain, update or upgrade an existing skill set? ... is a current expense

I'll give you the link to cut and paste into your browser ... so you can read through to determine which, if any, criteria apply to your situation.

* You may also want to read CRA's publication IT-131R2 Convention expenses at

Comments for Workshop Tax Deduction

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May 08, 2010
Thank you,
by: Colette

Appreciate your response. Very informative.

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