Union dues - Payment to a registered charity

Policy commentary

Release date
June 23, 1993

Reference number
CPC-008

Subject

Gift - Whether the payment to a registered charity instead of paying union dues is voluntary and therefore considered a gift

Purpose

To clarify the Directorate's policy regarding payments to a registered charity.

Commentary 

1. A payment to a registered charity in lieu of paying union dues is not considered a gift. For example, a company employee, for religious reasons, objects to paying union dues. The collective agreement under which the employee works contains a provision allowing the employee to pay an equivalent amount to a registered charity in place of union dues. There is an expression of free will on the part of the payer only to the extent that the payment is directed to a registered charity rather than the union.

2. The payment of a sum to the union or to a charity in the context of adhering to a collective agreement can be seen as making a payment for consideration; that is, in return for paying the amount, the employee gets a job. The presence of a substantial consideration invalidates the payment as a gift.

References 

  • Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985 (5th supp.) c. 1, para. 8(1)(i)
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