Board, lodging, and transportation at remote work locations

We usually consider a work location to be remote when it is 80 kilometres or more from the nearest established community with a population of at least 1,000 people.

A location is considered an established community if it has essential services or those services are available within a reasonable commuting distance. Essential services may include access to:

  • basic food store
  • basic clothing store, with merchandise in stock (not a mail-order outlet)
  • accommodation
  • certain medical services
  • certain educational facilities

Board and lodging at a remote work location

You can exclude from income the value of board and lodging, or the reasonable allowance for board and lodging, that you provide to an employee who works at a remote work location, if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the employee could not reasonably be expected to set up and maintain a self-contained domestic establishment because of the remoteness of the location and the distance from any established community
  • you did not provide a self-contained domestic establishment for the employee
  • the reasonable allowances were for a period of at least 36 hours when:
    • the employee had to be away from their principal place of residence because of their duties
    • the employee had to be at the remote work location

Transportation

You can exclude from income the value of free or subsidized transportation. A reasonable allowance for transportation expenses can also be excluded.

To qualify, the transportation allowance paid to an employee must be for a period of at least 36 hours when one of the following situations applies:

  • the employee had to be away from their principal place of residence
  • the employee had to be at the remote work location

You had to have paid the allowance for transportation between the remote work location and any location in Canada. If the remote work location is outside Canada, you can exclude the allowance for transportation between that location and any location in Canada, or another location also outside Canada.

If you need help determining whether a location qualifies as remote, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-91, Employment at Special Work Sites or Remote Work Locations.

Form TD4, Declaration of Exemption – Employment at a Special Work Site

When there is an exemption for board, lodging, or transportation allowances you pay to employees who work at a remote work location, do not fill out Form TD4.

Payroll deductions

If you exclude a benefit for board, lodging, and transportation at a special work site or remote work location, it is not a taxable benefit. Do not deduct CPP contributions, EI premiums, or income tax.

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