Employee awards now tax exempt (January 29, 2002)

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has issued an advisory stating certain employee awards are now tax-free.

Canada’s many provincial associations, in conjunction with the Canadian Trucking Alliance, have been calling for a change to federal taxation governing safety awards and other non-cash bonuses for some time.

Under the new policy, employers will be able to give employees two non-cash gifts per year, on a tax-free basis. These can be for special occasions, or in recognition of employment achievements, such as meeting or exceeding safety standards or other milestones — where the aggregate cost of the awards to the employer is $500 or less.

The employer will still be able to deduct the costs of these gifts/awards when calculating business income. The policy is effective for 2001 and later years.

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