A portion of my income, in Canada, is derived from contracts through the freelancing website oDesk. For their trouble, oDesk skims 10% off the top of what the end client is charged and forwards the rest on to me. As I also have income that doesn't derive from oDesk, I use accounting software (FreshBooks) to track everything relating to my freelancing. When entering my oDesk work on FreshBooks, there are two possibilities:
- Create an invoice for the full amount billed to the client by oDesk, and record the 10% commission as an expense against that invoice
- Create an invoice for the full amount paid to me by oDesk
Which method is most advantageous from a tax perspective? To me, it boils down to whether Canada Revenue Agency allows me to deduct that commission I pay as an expense; their website has much about deducting expenses for employees earning commission, but nothing that I could find on self-employed people who pay commissions to earn income.