Home based business tax write offs when you don't own the home
April 29, 2012 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Can you write off renovations to your home on your taxes for a home based business if you don't own or rent the residence?

I live in Canada and I own my own home (just my name on the title). My common-law spouse wishes to start a home based business and believes this will allow him to make some extra money while also writing off expenses such as equipment and renovations (for the garage where the bulk of the business would reside).

I am not certain, and cannot seem to find a definitive answer with regard to ownership/tenant of the residence where the business is located, even when looking at American tax law (which I think would at least give me an idea of the nuances of writing off business expenses).

I had the impression that you either have to own the residence or be paying rent to the owner in order to write off renovations to the space the business takes up in the home.

Can anyone out there give more accurate information?

Thanks for any assistance:)
posted by blubutterfly to Work & Money (1 answer total)
Get an accountant for a definitive answer.

The answer depends on the structure of your business. If you are incorporated, the business could certainly use its own money for items that are primarily for its use, including tools and modifications necessary to have a proper work space. This is not a personal writeoff; it is an expense of the business. Because corporate tax is calculated on income-expenses, total tax liability is lowered. I would (and do) use my business's money for such an expense in a red hot minute.

Your mileage may vary for other arrangements (self-employed, etc).
posted by crazycanuck at 6:20 PM on April 29, 2012

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