In an article published in the September 21, 2010 Globe and Mail, it appears that Toronto police officers have been audited by the CRA for parking spaces provided to them at police stations. According to CRA, these parking spaces constitute a taxable benefit to the officers.
The central question in determining whether a benefit is a taxable benefit is who is receiving the benefit – the employer or the employee? The answer to this question can only be determined with an examination of the facts. The facts that are relevant in each case are unique, but may include: the type of work the employee is performing, and how the benefit is relevant to the performance of the employee’s duty.
This issue has recently been before the Tax Court in Toronto Parking Authority. CRA won that case at the Tax Court of Canada and it is likely that that decision has emboldened them to pursue other large public employers for parking spaces provided to their employees free of charge. According to the Toronto Police Association, the officers will be appealing the decision.