Business -> Tax free benefits for employees
Tax-Free, Reduced Tax, and Taxable Employee Benefits
See the tax-free motor vehicle allowances article on the Small Business page.
Allowances for Transportation, Board and Lodging, When Employed at a Special Work Site or Remote Work Location
If you have received allowances from your employer for board, lodging, or transportation in relation to working temporarily at a special work site or remote work location, these allowances may not be taxable to you, under certain conditions. These conditions include:
For more information on this, see the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Interpretation Bulletin IT-91 Employment at Special Work Sites or Remote Locations (archived).
Payments received from a disability insurance plan are not taxable when the employee has either paid the premiums, or the premium amounts paid by the employer have been included in the employee's income as a taxable benefit. See the disability insurance article for more information.
Tax Tip: Pay your own premiums for long-term disability plans!
Tax is payable when distributions are made from an employee profit sharing plan to employees, but these payments are not subject to Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance premiums.
Private health services plan (PHSP) payments made on behalf of employees and their dependents are not taxable to the employees, and there are no CPP or EI premiums charged on these payments.
If employees pay a portion of the PHSP premiums, this qualifies as a medical expense for purposes of the medical expense tax credit.
See the private health services plans article on the Business page.
Workers' compensation payments received are not taxable income. They are, however, added into total income when filing the tax return, then deducted again to get to taxable income. Total income is used for calculating many income-tested benefits.
When a home relocation loan to an employee results in a taxable benefit being included in the employee's income, a home relocation loan benefit deduction is available to the employee, which would partially offset the taxable benefit. See our article on Employee Loans and Employee Loan Subsidies.
Under certain circumstances, the value of loyalty points can be taxable to employees or business owners.
The Tax Chick Blog - Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Taxation of Travel (including loyalty points)
Employee Parking Provided by Employer - new/updated CRA administrative policies announced late 2022
Gifts from an employer to an employee may be a taxable benefit! - new/updated CRA administrative policies announced late 2022
Employer Provided Social Events - Sometimes Taxable
Employer Provided Social Events - Taxable Benefit To Employees - new/updated CRA administrative policies announced late 2022
Gift From Someone in Debt to Canada Revenue Agency
A gift from someone in debt to CRA is not a "taxable benefit", but can certainly have serious tax consequences!
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources
Revised: October 26, 2023
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