Revenu Québec has released its annual revision of the employer’s guide to taxable benefits and allowances. This guide explains an employer’s responsibilities in determining taxable benefits and how to calculate the value of benefits or allowances, including the GST and QST treatment of employee benefits.
New for this year is information concerning intermunicipal public transportation and group insurance that is designed to cover a risk of a loss of income from an office of employment.
Effective January 1, 2012, where an employer or group of employers sets up a public transportation service for employees that live outside the local municipality in which they work, the benefit an employee receives from the use of this service is not taxable, provided three conditions are met. These conditions are: the service must be provided at least 5 days per week (excluding holidays and business slowdowns); the transportation vehicle must carry at least 15 people; and users can disembark only at specifically established stops.
Employers may make contributions to group insurance plans to protect an employee from a complete or partial loss of income. Any contributions made to these plans after March 28, 2012 will be considered a taxable benefit to the employee. However, it should be noted that any taxable benefit arising from taxable contributions made in 2012 will be a taxable benefit for the 2013 taxation year, resulting in a one year deferral of the taxable benefit to the employee. Any contributions made on or after January 1, 2013 will be a taxable benefit to the employee in the year in which the contribution is made.