Can Life Insurance Be A Business Expense?

February 8, 2022

Life insurance is a smart investment. It provides you peace of mind and your family with a strong sense of security.

About 62% of Canadians have a life insurance policy through their employer. That is, they are covered by a small life insurance policy and their employer pays the life insurance premiums.
For businesses that pay employees’ life insurance premiums, there may be an added benefit. These premiums could be considered a business expense and can be used as a tax deduction. And if you fit the criteria, it can make buying life insurance more attractive.

Types of Life Insurance

Whether you are buying life insurance as a business or individual, there are two types of policies available. Although both could be considered deductible expenses, it’s important to know the difference.

Term Life Insurance

This policy is available for a specific amount of time. For example, you can buy term life insurance for 10 or 20 years. It is usually the most affordable policy.

Permanent Life Insurance

Coverage lasts until the end of life. Permanent life insurance can also be called universal or whole life.
team of business people

When Are Life Insurance Premiums A Business Expense?

Canada’s Income Tax Act is very complex so it’s always best to check with a tax professional. However, there is a section of Canada’s Income Tax Act that allows you to deduct life insurance premiums if you’re a business. There are some conditions that need to be met:

1. The life insurance policy is used as collateral for a loan that is being used for business purposes.
2. Interest paid would be tax-deductible as part of the business income for the year.

If the conditions are met, you’ll be able to use insurance costs as tax deductions.

How Much Insurance Costs Can You Deduct?

How much you’ll be able to deduct will be the lesser of the premiums payable or the net cost of pure insurance (premiums minus savings).

Basically, as a business owner, if you’re offering life insurance to your employees the insurance premiums are considered a business expense.

100% of insurance premiums a creditor requires you to have to enforce to secure a loan.

Can You Write Off Life Insurance?

The life insurance premiums your organization pays may be tax-deductible, but it largely depends on its situation. For example, while life insurance premiums are not usually considered tax deductions, group policies you pay premiums on for employees can be tax-deductible to an employer but taxable benefits to an employee.
signing contract of documents

When You Can't Use Premiums As Tax Deductions

You won’t be allowed to deduct premiums if your business will benefit from the policy. In other words, if you are the beneficiary of the life insurance policy you won’t be able to claim it as a business expense. In the same way, if you’re the business owner you can’t write off premiums you pay for your own insurance policy.

How To Claim Life Insurance Premiums As A Business Expense

Business owners who pay life insurance premiums for employees can use them as a tax deduction. Benefits like life insurance are considered in the cost of doing business.

You’ll need to report the total amount you pay for premiums annually as part of your total business expenses. In other words, it will be grouped together with all your business expenses for the year.

Deducting Group Life Insurance Policy Premiums

Business owners who pay insurance premiums for a group life insurance policy will be able to claim it as a tax deduction. The catch is that if your business benefits from the life insurance policy, or is named a beneficiary of the insurance, premiums will not be considered tax-deductible.

Are Charitable Life Insurance Premiums Deductible?

Some insurance policies can be purchased, and a charitable organization appointed as the beneficiary. Premiums paid for this insurance policy can be claimed as a charitable donation.

However, it won’t be considered a tax deduction but rather a tax credit. To apply the tax credit to your business’ income tax return you’ll need the receipt for your insurance premiums.

Additional Life Insurance Coverage Benefits

A life insurance policy can have other advantages on top of offering coverage for employees. Some of these can include:
Agent providing insurance cover to a young couple

Business As A Beneficiary

As a business owner, you can also buy a life insurance policy where your company is the beneficiary if a key employee passes away. In that case, the benefit you receive from the insurance company will be a tax-free benefit. This is sometimes referred to as key person insurance. It can create essential funds that help keep your business running while you find a candidate to replace your key employee. Sometimes lenders will require business owners to take out policies for specific employees until the loan is paid off.

Buy-Sell Agreements

Buy-sell agreements are commonly funded using proceeds from a life insurance policy. Funds paid out after the insured individual passes away can be used to pay for buy-sell transactions of company shares. In this scenario, business life insurance proceeds are used to buy back shares from the deceased’s family. It allows the company to continue on while providing for the departed’s family.

Why Buy Life Insurance From Shelter Bay?

With Shelter Bay, you’re getting more than just another life insurance company. Our agents work with you to determine your needs and the best policy for you and your business. Collectively, we have over 200 years of insurance industry experience. You can be confident when you’re working with Shelter Bay that you’re getting the best advice and the best price on life insurance.

Whether you’re looking for life insurance benefits for your employees or want a policy for yourself, contact Shelter Bay for a free quote today.

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