How Tech Firms Can Optimize 2024 Tax Planning

How Tech Firms Can Optimize 2024 Tax Planning

Ensuring compliance with Canadian taxes is crucial for any startup. Understanding which taxes you owe, when they’re due, and what information to include with your payments to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can be confusing. 

Canada’s tech sector is driving the country’s economic growth, making it an ideal environment for tech startups to flourish. However, navigating tech tax Canada can pose unique challenges for these startups. On a positive note, there are various tax credits available to support tech startups in overcoming these challenges.

The following details, while not exhaustive, provide a starting point for the most common Canadian taxes and can help tech firms can optimize tax planning.

Corporate Tax (T2)

The T2 serves as the obligatory declaration of corporate income for the federal government of Canada.

Every company is required to submit a corporate income tax (T2) return for each fiscal year. The Canada Revenue Agency offers two types of T2 statements, providing companies with options for completion.

Filing a corporation income tax return (T2) is mandatory for all Canadian businesses annually, regardless of whether there is any tax payable. This obligation can be fulfilled conveniently through the Government of Canada’s online portal.

Businesses generally have the flexibility to select the end date of their tax year. Upon filing your initial T2, your start date aligns with the date of your incorporation. Subsequent T2 returns necessitate a start date corresponding to the day following the conclusion of your tax year.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Effective July 1, 2021, Canada has extended its GST/HST regulations to encompass digital goods and services supplied by non-resident vendors, termed as “cross-border digital products and services.” If your business anticipates generating over C$30,000 in business-to-consumer (B2C) sales within a 12-month period, you are obligated to register, collect, and remit Canadian GST/HST.

Presently, the tech tax Canada rates on cross-border sales of digital goods are as follows:

  • 5% GST in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon
  • 13% HST in Ontario
  • 15% HST in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island

Additionally, it’s crucial to consider provincial-level digital sales tax regulations.

Payroll Deductions

Tech startups, when paying salaries and offering taxable benefits to employees, must register a payroll account with the CRA for making necessary payroll deductions.

The frequency of remitting payroll deductions is determined by the average monthly deductions. If the average amount is $2,999 or less, businesses can opt to file payroll deductions quarterly.

The remitting frequency for payroll deductions is generally based on the average monthly remittances made in the second preceding year. 

For example, in 2014, the remitting frequency of a business is determined by the average monthly remittances made in 2012. Salaries and deducted amounts are reported on a T4 form for the calendar year, distributed to employees, and filed with the CRA by February 28 of the following year.

Filing frequency varies:

  • If deductions are under $15,000, remittance is due on the 15th day of the month following the deduction month.
  • For deductions between $15,000 and $49,999, remittance is required on the 10th and 25th day of each month.
  • For deductions of $50,000 and over, remittance is due on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th of each month.

Businesses with average monthly deductions of $3,000 or less have the option to remit quarterly.

Provincial Tech Tax

Depending on where your startup is registered, you may be subject to additional taxes. For instance, businesses operating in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia are liable to pay the Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

Tax Credits

With various taxes to manage, leveraging tax credits can significantly benefit your startup. The Canadian government provides several tax credits tailored to tech startups, helping to alleviate the financial burden of conducting business.

Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The investment tax credit (ITC) is a federal incentive applicable to eligible investments in specific types of property, such as computers and software. Utilizing the ITC can effectively lower certain business expenses, including the acquisition of new equipment.

The ITC encompasses a wide range of incentives, with particular relevance to tech startups due to their industry-specific nature.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit (SR&ED)

The most pertinent credit for tech startups is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, a common type of ITC. This credit allows for a claim of up to 35% on expenses related to scientific research and experimentation conducted within Canada.

To qualify, your startup must have a profit motive and engage in activities advancing scientific or technological knowledge. Consulting with your accountant or financial expert is essential to determine your startup’s eligibility for the SR&ED tax credit.

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Refundable Tax Credit (CCUS)

The Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) refundable tax credit targets businesses investing in CCUS technologies since January 1, 2022. This initiative aims to capture carbon dioxide emissions and identify eligible uses for them, offering varying tax credit rates over specific periods.

  • 37.5% to 60% range, from 2021 to 2030
  • 18.75% to 30% range, from 2030 to 2040

Apprentice Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC)

The Apprentice Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC) is a federal credit designed to assist businesses in covering the expenses associated with hiring and training apprentices. This credit amounts to up to $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice.

Eligibility requires your startup to employ an apprentice enrolled in an accredited apprenticeship program, with the AJCTC claimable for up to two years of the apprentice’s training.

Small Business Deduction (SBD)

The small business deduction (SBD) is a tax relief measure permitting reduced taxation on the initial $500,000 of active business income. This deduction serves as a significant advantage for tech firms on tax plans, potentially decreasing the overall tax liability by up to $13,750.

Final Thoughts

Tech firms can optimize tax plans, and compliance can seem overwhelming initially, but with a solid understanding of the tax system, it becomes manageable. Seeking guidance from a tax advisor familiar with the tech sector can simplify the process.

Accountero facilitates connections with top tax and financial experts across Canada. As one of Toronto’s rapidly expanding SaaS companies in the accounting realm, we provide digital bookkeeping, forecasting, and other services to streamline your tax season.

Entrusting your finances to experts is crucial for allowing your startup to concentrate on core priorities, and we possess the expertise to assist you in achieving precisely that.


1. What are key tax planning strategies for tech firms during Tax Season 2024?

Key tax planning strategies for tech firms during Tax Season 2024 include optimizing research and development (R&D) tax credits, maximizing deductions for qualified business expenses, leveraging tax incentives for innovation and technology investment, utilizing international tax planning to minimize tax liabilities, and staying informed about any changes in tax laws or regulations that may affect the tech industry. 

Additionally, tech firms should consider engaging with tax advisors who specialize in the technology sector to ensure they are taking advantage of all available opportunities for tax optimization.

2. What specific tax credits and incentives are available for tech firms to optimize their 2024 tax plans, particularly in light of recent regulatory changes and advancements in technology?

Specific tax credits and incentives available for tech firms to optimize their 2024 tax plans include research and development (R&D) tax credits, which can be particularly beneficial for companies investing in innovation and technology development. Additionally, tech firms may leverage incentives such as the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) exclusion for eligible startups, as well as various state-level tax credits for technology investment and job creation. By strategically identifying and utilizing these credits and incentives, tech firms can minimize their tax liabilities and maximize their overall tax savings.

3. How can tech firms effectively navigate the complexities of international tax regulations to optimize their tax planning strategies for the upcoming tax season in 2024?

To effectively navigate the complexities of international tax regulations and optimize their tax planning strategies for the upcoming tax season in 2024, tech firms should consider engaging in proactive tax planning and compliance efforts. This may involve conducting thorough reviews of their global operations to identify potential tax exposures and opportunities for tax optimization. Additionally, tech firms should stay abreast of any changes in international tax laws and regulations that may impact their operations and tax planning strategies.