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Tax Tips – Construction Activities

A July 17, 2017 Technical Interpretation examined the conditions which would require the filing of a T5018, Statement of Contract Payments. 

Where a person or partnership primarily derives their business income from construction activities for a reporting period, a T5018 should be filed for any subcontractor payment or credit made relating to goods or services received in the course of construction activities. The reporting period may be a calendar or fiscal year but cannot be changed once selected (unless authorized by CRA).

The term “construction activities” is broadly defined. It includes, for example, the erection, excavation, installation, alteration, modification, repair, improvement, demolition, destruction, dismantling or removal of all or any part of a building, structure, surface or sub-surface construction, or any similar property. Such activities are considered to be those normally associated with the on-site fabrication and erection of buildings, roads, bridges, parking lots, driveways, etc. which are intended to be permanently affixed to the land on which they are built.

It is a question of fact as to whether a particular activity is a construction activity, and whether the business income for the reporting period is derived primarily from such activity. If a T5018 is not required, consideration should be given to the requirement of a T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income.

CRA has also noted that there are businesses that have a significant amount of construction done for them or by them, but the activity is not their principal business. For example, a natural gas company may do a large amount of construction to install pipelines, however, its principal business is gas transmission, not constructing pipelines. It would not be required to file T5018s.

Penalties are levied on the payer when T5018s are not timely filed.  Penalties range from $100 to $7,500, depending on the number of T5018s and the number of days they are late.

Action Item: 
If you are in the construction industry, ensure you are filing T5018s appropriately.

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