Feds plan to tax employee discounts comes under fire

by Morinville News Staff

Conservative Shadow Finance Minister Pierre Poilievre is blasting the federal government’s plan to tax on employee discounts, a plan the Conservatives say Globe and Mail reporter Campbell Clark uncovered, publishing an email from CRA.

Business owners will need to track discounts food servers get for their lunch or clothing store employees get on their clothes. The plan is to tax the employee on the “the fair market value of the merchandise purchased, less the amount paid by the employee,” the Conservatives say.

“When the Liberals said they would go after ‘wealthy tax cheats’ this is what they meant: hard-working waitresses having a pizza at midnight after an eight-hour shift or a fitness trainer who gets a gym membership with his job,” Poilievre said in a release Monday. “Now local business owners will need to track all of these discounts so the government can charge higher taxes to low-income wage earners.”

The Conservatives say the Retail Council warned the Finance Committee about the change in September, and that most MPs believed it had to be a mistaken interpretation.

“This latest Liberal tax increase will target those who can least afford to pay more,” Poilevre said, snarkily adding that perhaps the rule should apply to the Prime Minister. “Justin Trudeau and his family enjoyed thousands of dollars of vacation benefits paid by wealthy friends, and he should pay tax on that price discount.”

The Conservatives say the new tax rule cannot be blamed on the CRA alone, and that Trudeau has set the tone.

“By attacking our local businesses and family farmers, and calling them tax cheats, he has unleashed the tax collectors to hound all hardworking Canadians for more money,” Poilevre said.

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