When investing in a franchise, the initial franchise fee paid for the acquisition of the franchise may qualify as depreciable property. This will allow a taxpayer to claim depreciation on a straight line basis. A franchise fee will qualify as depreciable property where the franchise term is limited and will not be subject to the half year rule. However, where the franchise term is indefinite, the fee paid is treated as an eligible capital expenditure and subject to less favourable tax treatment.
It is the Canadian resident franchisee’s obligation to withhold and remit Canadian taxes on royalties paid to a non-resident franchisor. The Canadian resident franchisee can be assessed the amount of taxes due plus applicable penalties and interest for failing to remit.