Putting a value on employee benefits

If payroll fails to properly value a taxable benefit, it could mean big problems
By Sheila Brawn
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/10/2015

When it comes to calculating taxable benefits, one of the most important issues payroll practitioners face is putting a value on the benefit. Mistakes can be costly.

"If the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reviews the amount that the employer has ascribed to a benefit in the T4 slip and determines that the amount is either too high or too low, it will not hesitate to challenge the employer’s decision. This will result in a tax assessment against the employer, the employees or both," says Adrienne Woodyard, a partner in the tax law group at the firm Davis in Toronto.

The CRA (and Revenu Québec) requires employers to assess taxable benefits based on fair market value minus any amounts the employee paid for them.