What minimum wages are rising in 2012?

Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia among the jurisdictions with changes
By Annie Chong
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 02/07/2012

Question:  Are there any minimum wage changes planned for 2012 that I should be aware of? We have employees in most provinces and territories.

Answer: Here is a list of the minimum wage changes we are aware of so far:

Alberta: Minimum wage changes are now tied to the consumer price index and will be implemented on Sept. 1. The government has promised to give three months’ notice of minimum wage changes.

British Columbia: The minimum wage rates will increase on May 1, 2012 as follows:
•general minimum wage rate — $10.25 per hour
•liquor servers — $9 per hour
•live-in home support workers — $102.50 per day
•live-in camp leaders — $82 per day
•resident caretakers with nine to 60 suites — $615.00 per month, plus $24.65/suite
•resident caretakers with more than 60 suites — $2,094.84 per month.

New Brunswick: The minimum wage will increase to $10 an hour on April 1, 2012. The minimum wage for employees whose hours of work per week are unverifiable and who are not strictly employed on a commission basis will rise to $440 on that date.
The province is considering whether or not to introduce a separate minimum wage rate for employees who receive tips.
At press time, no decision had been announced.

Nova Scotia: Beginning in 2012, minimum wage increases will occur in April and will be indexed to the low-income cutoff.
Prince Edward Island: Effective April 1, the minimum wage rate will increase to $10 per hour.

Quebec: The provincial minimum wage rates will rise on May 1 as follows:
•general minimum wage — $9.90 per hour
•employees who receive tips — $8.55 per hour
•employees in specified sectors of the clothing industry — $9.90 per hour
•raspberry pickers — $2.91 per kilogram
•strawberry pickers — $0.77 per kilogram

Yukon:  The territory adjusts its minimum wage every April 1 based on the consumer price index. The Employment Standards Board is reviewing the minimum wage rate. At press time, no announcement on any changes had been made.

Guidelines for creating electronic TD1s

Question: I understand  the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) allows employers to create their own electronic TD1s, Personal Tax Credit Returns. Is there a specific template I have to follow or can I create something on my own?

Answer: The CRA does not provide specific instructions or specifications for creating electronic TD1s, although it does state that the employers must meet the following conditions for their TD1s to be acceptable to the CRA:
You must put in place security measures to verify the identity of employees submitting the forms since there is no way to have a written signature on an electronic form. This could involve using a password system.
The form must look exactly like the paper version of the CRA’s TD1.
The form must include a date so that you know when the employee submitted it.

The form must include a certification that confirms the employee has provided accurate information. The CRA suggests that employers could do this by having employees click a button stating “I agree” with a statement like the one found at the bottom of the paper version: “I certify that the information given in this return is, to the best of my knowledge, correct and complete.”

Make sure the format of the form cannot be adjusted, meaning an employee can only make changes to  her TD1 by submitting a new form.

The employer must make the electronic forms “available and accessible” to the CRA upon request and must format the TD1s in a way that allows CRA staff to read them.

The forms must meet all of the CRA’s record retention and electronic record requirements.

The CRA requires employers to keep all payroll records (whether printed or electronic) of earnings subject to source deductions and employer contributions for a minimum of six years after the tax year to which they apply, unless the employer has the CRA’s written permission to destroy them before then.

Employers must keep the records at their place of business or residence in Canada or at another location the CRA specifies.
Employers keeping records in an electronic format must keep back-up records.

If any electronic records are lost, damaged, or destroyed, the employer must inform the CRA and must recreate the files within a reasonable period of time.

Employers who decide to use electronic TD1s are still responsible for reviewing the submitted forms to ensure employees have completed them in a reasonable manner. Employers who have concerns about false or misleading information on a TD1 should contact a CRA tax services office.

Reporting salary overpayments

Question: As a result of a calculation error, we paid an employee $550 more than we should have in 2011. The employee says he will repay the amount. How do I report this for year-end reporting? We have already completed our 2011 T4s. Do I need to file an amended form for this employee that reduces his earnings last year by $550 or do I wait and make the change on the 2012 T4 since he will repay the amount this year?