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Susan Ward

Canadian Income Tax: What's Your Industry Code?

By February 4, 2014

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You need to know your Industry Code when you're filling out your T2125 Statement of Business Activities as part of your T1 income tax return. (See Canadian Income Tax: Must You Fill Out Form T2125? for more details.)

Young woman in red dress working on taxes.

Here's the list of Industry Codes you get to choose from (Canada Revenue Agency).

The catch is that you need to choose the Industry Code that fits your main business activity best - which I always find a bit of a scavenger hunt as the powers-that-be haven't caught up to the Internet age and seem to have a limited view of professions.

For instance, there is no appropriate industry code for writers and/or editors under Professions - "541990 Other professional, scientific or technical services" is as close as it gets. Thinking about Web designers, bloggers and SEO experts, just to name a few professionals that work the 'Net, I can see that "519130 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting" is going to get a lot of use.

But remember, the Industry Code you choose doesn't have to describe exactly what you do or all of what you do. Choose the general category your main business activity fits into (such as business services, construction or retail stores) and work from there.

I, for instance, might sidestep the whole Internet questions and label myself as "an independent artist, writer and performer" - code 711500.

Want more information on completing and filing the T1 income tax form? Your First Business Income Tax Return will lead you through the process.

If you want to use tax preparation software to check out different tax scenarios or prepare your own income tax, Top Canadian Income Tax Software presents what I think are the best choices for small businesses.

Learn More About Canadian Income Tax

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April 7, 2012 at 12:00 am
(1) Steve M says:

Thxs for the info. I was scratching my head about what code relates to writers. Cheers. Steve

May 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(2) kib says:

could you please help me finding industial code for export business? It is not in the code list.

thanks a lot,

May 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm
(3) Susan Ward says:

Hello Kib,
As almost anything can be exported, your industry code will depend on what product you’re exporting and how you’re getting the product. For instance, if you are making machinery and exporting it, then your industry code would be 333000 (manufacturing because you’re producing the product and then machinery, the product you’re exporting). If you need help, do call the Canada Revenue Agency; I’ve found them to be helpful in the past.

June 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(4) Bill Martens says:

The Industry code I’ve used for years is no longer valid and I cant find new one. My business is Scrap car removal

March 12, 2013 at 10:56 am
(5) Lori Douglas says:

Hi – Thank you for your attention to detail.
I am wondering what the industry code is for life coaches…I don’t find it listed and I’m wondering if it’s 624100 Individual and Family Services OR 812100 Personal Care Services… or yet another??

March 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm
(6) Susan Ward says:

I like 624100, Individual and Family Services myself. I think of Personal Care Services as physical and you do more than that. Remember, you just have to come as close as you can.

March 13, 2013 at 7:14 pm
(7) Janice says:

What about professional dog grooming? There doesn’t appear to be anything that can fit.

March 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm
(8) Janice says:

“Support activities for animal production – 115210″ would be for breeding of animals, right? It wouldn’t be the right code to use for professional dog grooming?

March 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm
(9) Janice says:

Hey fellow groomers and pet care service providers! I think I found the right industry code. It’s 812910.


March 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm
(10) Janice says:
April 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm
(11) Kelly says:

Need a code for a Graphic Designer also can I write off my computer and design software if i use it to work for my employer?

April 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm
(12) Susan Ward says:

Hi Kelly, Take a look at the list of codes linked in the post above; I don’t know what it is off-hand.

As for writing things off, you can’t write off anything if they’re related to work for your employer. As a business, a computer can be written off over time as Capital Cost Allowance and design software may be written off as a business expense for a graphic designer.

April 19, 2013 at 10:49 pm
(13) Christine says:

Hello I really need help for the right industry code – Nothing really seems to fit under what I do . -
My elderly sick parents need a lot of my help . they still live in their own home and I go over several times a week and provide some care giving for my Mother who has Alzheimer’s and wash her hair . feed her and I help my Dad- pay bills, do grocery shopping, laundry and house keeping and general yard work .

April 21, 2013 at 12:16 am
(14) Susan Ward says:

It sounds to me that you’re providing home care. There should be an Industry Code along these lines listed under Services in the list linked above.

April 20, 2013 at 11:25 pm
(15) Chris says:

Would the code for a part-time business as professional photographer be 541920? I am getting an error in UFile for this code saying it is an invalide NAICS code for a business (self-employment).

April 21, 2013 at 12:19 am
(16) Susan Ward says:

Hi Chris, I don’t know if that’s it or not off the top of my head; you’ll want to check the Canada Revenue Agency list linked above. (I do know that the Industry Codes were updated this year, so the one that was right in the past may no longer be valid.)

May 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm
(17) Kim Hill says:

I can not find the code for photographer/photography anywhere, can you help me? what would it be?

Thank you

May 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm
(18) Susan Ward says:

Hi Kim, It’s Photographic services – 541920 (under Other Services in the Code list linked above).

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