What’s taxable, what’s not, when it comes to benefits

A look at common and not-so-common benefits such as professional dues, meals, parking, gifts
By Gloria Munro
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/16/2008

Nobody likes unexpected tax surprises. When it comes to the employment relationship, an error in taxable benefits that results in an employee having to fork over extra cash can be a damaging one. Fortunately, taxable benefits aren’t that complicated — as long as employers follow, and stay up to date with, the rules.

All income, cash (bonuses) and non-cash benefits are taxable with very few exceptions. The tax treatment depends on the type of the benefit and the reason the employee receives it.

Common non-taxable benefits