Canada Tax Help for the Ontario Artists

Artist Performers and Canada tax

So you are an artist who is employed in Ontario and when it comes tax time you really aren’t sure just how to go about your taxes, and even if you are doing them right are they being done right in your favor?

First let’s see if you fit into this category.

  • Did you compose any type of work that is classified as dramatic, musical or literary?
  • Where you conducting performances as an actor, actress, dancer, singer?
  • Were you providing performances as a musician or involved in dramatic or musical work?
  • Did you belong to a professional artists association where you performed an artistic activity, and was that association one that the Canadian Heritage certified, or you created similar works of art or you created a painting, drawing, etching sculpture or print? Please note if you reproduced any of these items it is not classed as artistic activity in the eyes of the CRA.

If you answered yes to any of the above then you may be able to deduct approved expenses from the employment income you generated as a result of your artistic activity.

You may also be able to include your GST and PST/HST you paid regarding these expenses.

If you have met the above criteria you now will need to determine just how much you can claim. This is where it can get a little complex. Mistakes are often made here and they are sometimes not in your favor.

If you are involved in the artists industry you really should utilize the services of an accountant who is going to advise you in tax matters according to your best interests. These professionals can also complete your taxes so they are accurately done. Further to this they can explain the tax laws concerning your industry so they make sense and this can help you with further decisions that would have an impact on your taxes.

One common mistake that is often made, is that artists that work for several employees believe they can file their expenses per employer, which is not the case. You have to total your income and do the same for your expenses in order to accurately determine the amount you can claim.

Something else to remember is for those expenses that you weren’t able to claim during the tax year for 2013 you may be able to carry the losses forward to the next year.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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