Making it easier for northern residents to claim lowest return airfare

News release

March 18, 2019             Ottawa              Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is responding to the challenges northern residents face in meeting their tax obligations.  We are making it easier for northern residents to report  the lowest return airfare element of the northern residents deductions and we want to hear from Canadians on what we’re proposing.

Northern residents have told us the difficulty they have in determining and documenting the lowest return airfare in relation to a trip. This information is currently required to claim the travel benefits deduction portion of the northern residents deductions.

In response to these concerns, the CRA is proposing to simplify the lowest return airfare requirement. Under the proposed simplified requirement, individuals would have to determine and document the cost of return economy airfare in relation to their trip. This documentation can be dated within a reasonable amount of time of when the trip is made, but has to be for the date travelled.

For example, a claimant could get the airfare amount for the day of travel from a travel website in the days leading up to a trip. This change would eliminate both the need to get a quote on the day of travel and to ensure that it is the lowest available.

It is anticipated this additional flexibility will reduce the administrative burden for northern residents claiming the travel benefits deduction, while maintaining fairness by ensuring that the amount claimed for each trip is not excessive.

This change, which is detailed in a consultation document, would require amendments to the federal Income Tax Regulations.

Canadians are invited to provide comments on this proposed regulatory amendment by April 17, 2019. Comments can be sent by email at Regulations-Reglements@cra-arc.gc.ca or by mail to:

Northern Residents Deductions Consultations
Legislative Amendments Division
Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch
Canada Revenue Agency
320 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L5

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to delivering improved services that meet the needs of northern residents. We’ve listened and we’re taking action to address the administrative burden northern residents and businesses face in meeting their tax obligations with respect to the lowest return airfare element of the northern residents deductions. Canadians are encouraged to review the proposed regulatory amendment in order to help us ensure more people are able to successfully claim the deductions.”

-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is strengthening CRA support for territorial residents through the Northern Service Improvement Strategy that includes the opening of three new CRA Northern Service Centres and enhanced services in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

  • On August 24, 2018, the Minister of National Revenue announced that the CRA would propose amendments to the Income Tax Regulations to reduce the administrative burden associated with the lowest return airfare element of the northern residents deductions.

  • Canadians will have another opportunity to provide input when the proposed regulation is pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I for a 30 day comment period in spring 2019.

Associated links

Contacts

Émilie Gagnon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
613-995-2960
emilie.gagnon@cra-arc.gc.ca


Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-948-8366
cra-arc.media@cra-arc.gc.ca

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