Whether a ticket is a taxable benefit to the employee depends on whether the ticket is provided for personal or business use. Each case is different.
Generally, the value of tickets is considered a taxable benefit when an employer gives an employee tickets for personal use unless it is being given under the terms of the gifts and awards policy. This would also be the case if the employer gives tickets to a person with whom the employee does not deal at arm's length (such as a family member) for a non-business use.
There is no taxable benefit to an employee for the value of a ticket used for business purposes. Sometimes an employee needs a ticket to attend a game or event to be able to perform their employment duties. In these situations, the tickets are given to the employee for a business use.
Employment duties may include:
promoting and marketing to suppliers or other business contacts
supervising and managing at an event
performing other specific duties required during the event, including:
– providing on-call, on-site emergency medical services
– conducting in-venue marketing promotions
– training on a product
An employer has to keep records to support the business use of tickets given to employees. These records should contain all of the following information:
identification of the employee receiving the tickets
details of the personal or business use
number of tickets
value of the tickets
Include any GST/HST that applies in the value of this benefit.
If the benefit is taxable, it is also pensionable. Deduct income tax and CPP contributions. The benefit is not insurable. Do not deduct EI premiums.
Reporting the benefit
Employers have to include in the employee's income the value of all tickets, which are used for personal purposes, given to an employee during the year. Include the fair market value (usually the face value of the ticket, including applicable taxes) of the tickets in box 14, "Employment income," and in the "Other information" area under code 40 at the bottom of the employee's T4 slip.
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