Updated: Oct 20
How Motor Vehicle Insurance Tax Deductions Work
Automobile insurance is a big cost for many Canadians, and people often want to know if they can deduct it from their taxes. In Canada, you usually can not deduct the cost of car insurance for personal vehicles that you use for personal reasons. But there are some situations in which the cost of car insurance can be deducted from your taxes. This article talks about who can get tax breaks for car insurance in Canada and how they work.
What Qualifies as a Motor Vehicle Insurance Tax Deductible?
In Canada, certain motor vehicle expenses, including motor vehicle insurance costs, can be tax-deductible for individuals who use their vehicles for business purposes, including self-employed individuals and some salaried or commission-based employees. Here are some key points to qualify for car insurance tax deductions:
Business Use: You must use your vehicle for business purposes to claim deductions. This includes situations where your car is essential for your work, such as making client visits, deliveries, or other business-related travel.
Self-Employed Individuals: Self-employed individuals can typically deduct motor vehicle expenses, including car insurance premiums, if they use their cars for business purposes. This is because they often do not have a separate company car and rely on their personal vehicles for work.
Salaried or Commission-Based Employees: Salaried or commission-based employees may also qualify for motor vehicle expense deductions if they meet certain criteria:
They must use their own car for work-related purposes.
They must be required to work at different locations away from their employer's place of business. This typically excludes regular daily commuting to and from the workplace, as commuting is not considered a legitimate motor vehicle expense for tax purposes.
Documentation: To claim these deductions, you must maintain accurate records of your business-related car expenses. This includes keeping records of mileage, fuel costs, maintenance, and, in this context, car insurance premiums.
Provincial Variations: It's important to note that the rules and deductions related to motor vehicle expenses, including car insurance, may vary by province in Canada. Therefore, it's crucial to consult with a qualified tax professional or accountant who is knowledgeable about the specific tax regulations in your province.
Tax Deductibility Limitations: The amount you can deduct for car insurance premiums and other motor vehicle expenses may be subject to certain limitations and restrictions. Tax laws can change, so it's essential to stay updated on the latest regulations.
As tax laws are subject to change, it's highly recommended to consult with a tax professional or accountant who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and ensure that you are in compliance with the latest tax regulations in your province. They can help you determine the eligibility and appropriate deductions for your car insurance and other motor vehicle expenses.
How do I Claim Motor Vehicle Insurance Expenses on my Tax Return?
To include the cost of your car insurance on your Canadian tax return, you may need to follow certain steps and fill out certain forms, depending on your job and how you use your car. Here's an outline on how to get the cost of automobile insurance reimbursed:
For Self-Employed Individuals and Business Owners
Form T2125 - Statement of Business or Professional Activities:
Most self-employed individuals (e.g., independent contractor, freelancer, business owners) will use this form to report their business income and expenses. To claim motor vehicle insurance expenses, you should provide details of your vehicle-related costs, including insurance premiums, on this form.
Capital Cost Allowance (CCA):
If you purchased your vehicle strictly for business purposes, you may also be eligible to claim CCA, which allows you to deduct the cost of a depreciating asset (your vehicle) for business use. The CCA claim is reported on Schedule 8 - Capital Cost Allowance.
Make it a habit to record each work-related trip as soon as it occurs. Specify the purpose of the trip, such as client meetings, site visits, deliveries, or any other business activity. Record the starting odometer reading at the beginning of the trip and the ending odometer reading at the conclusion of the journey. Clearly documenting the purpose provides context for the trip and helps support your deductions. You can maintain your mileage log in a physical notebook or use a mileage tracking app designed for this purpose. Apps often offer convenience, as they can automatically track and calculate your mileage using GPS technology.
Keep Detailed Records:
Maintain accurate records of your vehicle-related expenses, including motor vehicle insurance premiums, mileage driven for business purposes, fuel costs, maintenance, and any other expenses associated with your vehicle. Detailed records are crucial to support your claims in case of an audit.
For Salaried or Commission-Based Employees
Form T777 - Statement of Employment Expenses:
If you are a salaried or commission-based employee and are required to use your personal vehicle for work-related travel, you can use Form T777 to claim employment-related motor vehicle expenses, including motor vehicle insurance premiums.
Get a T2200 Form from Your Employer:
When claiming employment-related motor vehicle expenses, including car insurance premiums, on your tax return in Canada as a salaried or commission-based employee, it is crucial to obtain a signed T2200 form (Declaration of Conditions of Employment) from your employer.
Proof of Eligibility:
The T2200 form proves your employer required you to drive your own car for work. It describes your job duties and travel requirements that require these expenses.
Tax Law Compliance:
The CRA requires employees to get the signed T2200 form where employer noting eligible employment expenses. Without this form, you may not be able to deduct these expenses.
Maintain a Mileage Log:
Maintain a detailed mileage log that records the date, purpose of the trip, starting and ending odometer readings, and total kilometres driven for each work-related journey. This log substantiates your mileage deductions.
Keep all Supporting Documentations:
The CRA may request documentation to support Form T777 claims for employment-related motor vehicle expenses. Keep a copy of your employer's signed T2200 form for six years. Retain all invoices and receipts related to your car insurance premiums related expenses. Ensure that the invoices clearly show the date, the insurance company's name, the premium amounts, and other relevant details. Bank or credit card statements can serve as additional evidence of your expenDocumentationditures, especially if they show payments made to insurance companies or other vehicle-related expenses.
Scenario for Calculating Deductions
Let's consider a scenario to illustrate how to calculate deductions for car insurance expenses on your tax return:
You are self-employed and use your personal vehicle for business purposes. Throughout the tax year, you drove a total of 20,000 kilometers, and of those, 5,000 kilometers were for business-related travel.
Your total motor vehicle insurance premiums for the year were $2,000.
To calculate the deductible amount for motor vehicle insurance expenses, you would:
Determine the percentage of business-related use: (5,000 km / 20,000 km) x 100 = 25%.
Apply this percentage to your motor vehicle insurance premiums: 25% of $2,000 = $500.
You can then include the $500 as a deductible business expense on your tax return.
Remember that tax laws can change, and the specific rules and deductions may vary by province in Canada. It's crucial to consult with a qualified tax professional or accountant who is knowledgeable about Canadian tax laws to ensure that you are following the latest regulations and maximizing your deductions while staying compliant with tax laws.