If you have income from self-employment or you’re a small-business owner, you need to enter a six-digit industry code in your tax return. The industry code represents your main business activity.

To find out your industry code, you need to go to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2017 Version 2.0. To get to a six-digit industry code, you need to go through the following sequence of codes: Sector > Subsector > Industry group > Industry.

Note the below items about the industry code:

  • The code does not need to be too specific to your small business or self-employment. As long as you can find a code that is closely relevant to your scenario, you can use it.
  • CRA’s NETFILE service will reject your tax return if you use an incorrect or outdated code.
  • The code you use doesn’t affect your taxes. CRA uses it for statistical purposes.
  • Try to be consistent with the code you use each year unless your business changes drastically. A change in the first three digits of your code from year to year can result in a CRA inquiry.
  • Some sectors, subsectors, industry groups, and industry categories include an item that beings with “Other.” When you can’t find a code that is directly relevant to your scenario in any of these categories, you can choose the code that corresponds to the “Other” item on the list.

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