March 5, 2003

Are Membership Fees a Taxable Benefit?

Question: Is the payment of professional membership fees by an employer a taxable employment benefit?

Answer: An employer who pays professional membership fees on behalf of its employees does not confer a taxable benefit if the employer is the primary beneficiary of the payment.

Whether the employer is the primary beneficiary will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each situation. But the employer will be accepted to be the primary beneficiary whenever the professional association is directly related to the employee’s job and membership in the association is a condition of employment.

Peter Israel is the senior partner in the Toronto law firm of Israel Foulon LLP – Employment and Labour Lawyers. He can be reached at 416-640-1550 or pi@israelfoulon.com. A version of this article originally appeared in the Carswell publication, Canadian Employment Law Today

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how this article applies to your specific situation.
Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP to learn more at 416-640-1550.

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