Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

June 11, 2009 17:41 ET

Taxable Benefits: Minister Blackburn Eliminates Some of the Administrative Burden

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 11, 2009) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food), today announced changes to the administrative policy of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with respect to employee taxable benefits. These changes will reduce or eliminate the administrative burden for employers and ensure more fairness in tax administration.

"These changes flow from the commitment by the Government of Canada in its 2007 budget to reduce the administrative burden related to tax compliance," said Minister Blackburn. Some examples of the changes to the taxable benefits policy include:

- Businesses will find it easier to recognize their staff because they can give their employees items of nominal value tax-free and other gifts and awards up to a total value of $500 per year tax-free.

- A reduction in the number of overtime hours an employee must work to receive a tax-free meal allowance will give businesses more flexibility in the tax treatment of these allowances.

- Under certain circumstances, businesses will not have to report allowances paid to their employees for travel within a municipality.

"The Government of Canada is determined to provide equitable service to Canadians every time they deal with the CRA," said Minister Blackburn. "These administrative changes by the CRA show the will of the Government to offer a tax system that is fair and competitive and in line with today's economic reality."

"The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) supports the changes the Government of Canada is making to employee taxable benefits in an effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of federal and provincial payroll-related legislation for all stakeholders: employers, government, employees and the general public," said Patrick Culhane, President and Chief executive officer of the Canadian Payroll Association. "Effective and efficient payroll administration is critical, given the magnitude of the payments made by employers and the breadth of the legislative compliance requirements."

To reduce the tax compliance burden, "our proposals aim to reduce the paperwork of small businesses and to free them up in a way that will allow Canada's entrepreneurial advantage to be developed. They represent a step in the right direction and will contribute to a dynamic economy," said Minister Blackburn.

Contact Information

  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Caitlin Workman
    Media Relations
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    Natalie Boileau
    Acting Director of Communications