CCA class for used freight container

*Techincal question

Taxpayer purchased a used freight container and converted it into a rentable event/retail platform.


  • Installs flooring, walls, lighting, wifi, etc. to make it appropriate as a short term rental space for clients
  • The unit is transported/picked up from clients sites
  • Stored when not in use

What CCA class do these containers belong in, if not class 8?

Thanks kindly

This appears to be a portable building, which would be Class 6(iv) or (v).

If used in construction or for lease to a taxpayer to use is their construction industry, contractors moveable equipment (Class 10 (h)).

If on wheels, may be classed as trailer under Class 10(e); however, this doesn’t seem to be the primary purpose.

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However, ‘Portable shelters such as housing, office and other service units are regarded as buildings if they are installed and intended to remain at a particular location. Such things as tents, canvas marquees and air supported fabric domes that are not part of a rigid structure are not considered to be buildings.’…

So could be considered class 8

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I don’t think I looked at IT-79R3 before today. Thanks, I learned something!

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I have a client that uses three of these things. I put them in Class 8 and they passed a CRA audit of capital assets.

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Hey Debbie, I am filing returns for a deceased taxpayer and her husband. They will be using pension splitting. I believe you advised that you need to file paper file of both returns. Please confirm. Do I need to file signed pension split forms in addition to the tax returns? I forget how to set the returns to print option, so please help me. They are ready to go.

John Lake

Hi John,

it’s simple really. On the print tab at the top where the return you want to print to paper is selected, click on the PDF icon and select your paper printer.

@hudson Thanks for the response - Not used in construction & no wheels - more of a temporary set up for businesses to rent for a short term.
@BertMulderCGA Thanks kindly - Units are intended to be rented for short term as a storefront, information booth at an event, etc
@dklassencga Thanks very much - do you happen to have references to legislation or similar?

See the following link to get a better idea of the business
Although, taxpayer I am discussing is not the business I provided the link to - it’s the same idea (Pop Up Retail Shipping Containers)

No legislative reference. I argued that the unit was used to store the product and equipment for the off season and then the entire unit was moved to various locations via flat deck truck when events there were trade shows, fairs, etc. that the business wanted to participate in.
The use for storage and not being used at a permanent location seemed to sway the auditor to my side.

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One follow up question - supplies the taxpayer purchased from hardware stores to ready the units (cosmetically), did you add to the ACB of containers or expense?

The majority of supplies are under $200.00 with the exception of three transactions ranging between $500 - $600/each.

Thanks kindly

The ones that stored product and equipment only needed shelving, cubes and lock chains attached to the walls. Since all that is attached to either the floor or the walls, it was part of the cost of getting them ready for service, so capitalized.

Ours that are portable offices for construction sites, so very little to add once they were in service. Basically, anything that is permanently attached to the containers (for damage control when moving them) we added to cost. Function or cosmetics play no part in the capital v expense decision. If it is attached, it’s part of the actual unit, therefore capital.

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@dklassencga What GIFI code did you use for the containers used at events, trade shows, fairs, etc. ?

Thanks kindly

Class 8 for all types (storage or mobile office)

@dklassencga To clarify, what GIFI code in the T2 under schedule 100 did you use?

Machinery, equipment, furniture, and fixtures GIFI code 1740?

One follow up question - when containers are on City property for an event they require a building permit (temporary permit) - where have you categorized that cost previously?

Thanks for the help!

For business, Tax reporting follows accounting reporting, being accounting reporting modified for tax rules.
In turn, accounting reporting is based on the underlying bookkeeping.

When the recording procedures are built from the ground up, the tax treatment follows.

I would look at the particular accounts and financial statements first…

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Yes, GIFI 1740

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@dklassencga Thanks Debbie

Hello Debbie - do you have any idea about the above question?

Permits (GIFI 8760)

Thank you for all you comments!