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Aside from being a student in 2016, I was also was hired as a contractor to write a technical report. I recognize that this would be considered 'self-employment', but how do I report this income (I am using ufile)? It was a small amount ($2000) and I did not bill for HST. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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It's pretty easy. In the Interview Setup for Ufile, check the box for "Self-employment business income". Then during the process of filling everything out, you'll get a Self-Employment screen. It'll ask for the name of your business, but just put your own name since you don't have one. For the 6-digit classification code, click the ? button and look through the list for the industry that best matches the one for whom you wrote the technical report. Or you can go with 711500: Independent artists, writers and performers. It doesn't really matter that much so don't worry if it's a poor match. It will also ask you for your income and expenses.

I don't know exactly what costs you might have incurred to write your report, but you can likely claim a very tiny amount of "home office" expenses. Costs like rent (or mortgage interest + property tax), utilities, and home insurance can be claimed, but they have to be pro-rated for the time you were actually doing the work, and are based on the amount of space you used for the work.

For example, if you paid $1000 rent and $200 utilities for the month in which the work was done, and it took you 20 of the 31 days in that month to actually do the work, and you used a room that makes up about 10% of the square footage of your home, then you can claim: $1200 * 20/31 * 0.1 = $77.42 for your home office expenses. If you also used that room for non-business purposes during that time, then you reduce it even further. Say, if the room was also used for playing video games 50% of the time, then you'd only claim $38.71

  • Thank you so much! I was able to follow your instructions with no problem. I noticed that my tax return decreased by $100, which makes sense b/c this is the amount of HST on $2000. But, I am also surprised because a) I am a student with a very low income, and b) I have a tonne of tuition credits. Do you have any insight into whether this is correct or not? I realize its a very case-specific question, but I thought it was worth asking – Splash1199 Mar 13 '17 at 19:15
  • @Splash1199, the $100 decrease is not due to HST. You earned less than $30K in self-employment so do not need to remit any HST. If your total income was under $11474 then you wouldn't pay any income tax either - and even if it was higher your tuition credits should offset it. I'd have to see your tax summary to know where the $100 loss came from, but my best guess would be to pay for EI and maybe CPP on that extra $2000 income. – Elbyron Mar 14 '17 at 22:20

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