What is Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) and how you can take advantage of it?

Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) is a tax deduction that allows Canadian real estate investors to recover the cost of eligible capital assets over their useful life. CCA applies to both residential and commercial properties that generate rental income, and it allows investors to deduct a portion of the property’s value each year from their taxable income, reducing the amount of tax owed.

Here’s how CCA works in more detail:

  1. Determine Eligible Assets: Eligible assets for CCA include items that are integral to the property, such as buildings, equipment, furniture, and fixtures. Land, however, is not eligible for CCA.

  2. Determine CCA Class: The CRA has created different classes for different types of assets, each with a different rate of CCA. For example, a commercial building is assigned to Class 1 and has a CCA rate of 4%. You can find the CCA classes and rates on CRA website.

  3. Calculate CCA: Once you know the class and rate, you can calculate the CCA deduction for the year. For example, if you have a commercial building worth $1 million in Class 1, you can deduct 4% or $40,000 from your taxable income in the first year.

  4. Track Accumulated CCA: It’s important to keep track of the accumulated CCA for each asset, as well as the cumulative CCA for the property as a whole. The CCA deduction is taken from the undepreciated capital cost (UCC), which is the original cost of the asset minus any previous CCA deductions.

  5. Adjust for Dispositions: If you sell an asset that has been depreciated using CCA, you will need to adjust the UCC for that asset and adjust your CCA calculations accordingly.

To take advantage of CCA, real estate investors can use it to reduce their taxable income and increase their cash flow. By maximizing the CCA deduction each year, investors can lower their tax bill and use the savings to reinvest in their properties or other investments. However, it’s important to keep accurate records and follow the CRA rules and guidelines to avoid any potential penalties or audits. It’s also recommended to work with a tax professional or accountant who can provide guidance on the best CCA strategy for your specific real estate investments.