GOVERNMENT SAYS C.R.A. DOCUMENT IS WRONG - EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS WON'T BE TAXED

Oct 10, 2017

By Michael Kramer

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The Trudeau government is insisting that employee discounts will not be taxed – despite an updated Canada Revenue Agency document that suggests they will be.

Political rivals and business lobby groups – including the Retail Council of Canada – are saying they are very concerned that new wording in a government document could lead to higher taxes on retail workers – many of whom earn low wages.

But National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier insists that the government isn’t targeting retail-sector workers – despite growing worries that changes in the latest version of a CRA document – could force some people to pay tax – on  discounts they receive as employees.

According to Lebouthillier’s office – the updated CRA guidance document was only intended to help employers understand their tax-reporting requirements.

But a source in her office says the decision to change the wording in the document was made by the CRA – without the minister’s approval.

The document in question for employers – known as a tax folio – states that when an employee receives a discount on merchandise because of their employment, “the value of the discount is generally included in the employee’s income.”

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