In an April 9, 2018 French Technical Interpretation, CRA clarified their position on taxable benefits arising from employer-sponsored social events, such as a holiday party or other event.

Where the cost of the social event does not exceed $150/person (previously the limit was $100), excluding incidentals such as transportation, taxi fares and accommodations, there would be no taxable benefit to employees. CRA indicated that the cost should be computed per person who attended, and not per person invited.

If the cost exceeds $150/person, the entire amount, including the additional cost, is a taxable benefit to the employee. In these cases, only employees attending the function would be subject to the taxable benefit.

Action Item: Ensure the cost of employer-sponsored events do not exceed this threshold to avoid a surprise tax cost for employees.

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