By Pam FitzGerald, Financial Oversight Committee Chair (pam.fitzgerald@skipatrol.ca)

(Note: the content of this article has been endorsed by the CSP Financial Oversight Committee.)

 

Recently, two specific tax queries have come forward regarding membership in the Canadian Ski Patrol and subsequently the following clarifications are provided:

Membership fees:

Pursuant to the Income Tax Act, fees paid to a voluntary membership based organization are ineligible to be claimed on line 212 of the T1 General (personal income tax return.) 

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) permits amounts “related to your employment” as:

  • Annual union dues when you are a member of a trade union or association of public servants.
  • Dues paid to a professional board as required by provincial or territorial law.
  • Premiums paid for insurance for professional or malpractice liability coverage.
  • Dues for maintaining a legal professional status in the eyes of the law.
  • Dues paid toward parity of advisory committees as required by provincial or territorial law.

Therefore, fees paid for membership in the CSP are not incurred to earn employment income and any attempt to claim such will be disallowed by the CRA.

Search and Rescue Volunteer Tax Credit:

Pursuant to the Income Tax Act, this is not an eligible deduction to be claimed on line 395 of the T1 General (personal income tax return) for the primary reason the Canadian Ski Patrol is not a search and rescue organization.

We appreciate CSP members volunteer significant time and effort to the organization, however S118.07 (1) of the Income Tax Act very clearly defines eligible search and rescue organization as:

(a)  one that is a member of the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association or the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary; or

(b)  one whose status as a search and rescue organization is recognized by a provincial, municipal or public authority

Additionally “if the Minister so demands, an individual making a claim under this section in respect of a taxation year shall provide to the Minister a written certificate from the president or other individual who fulfils a similar role, of each eligible search and rescue organization to which the individual provided eligible search and rescue volunteer services for the year, attesting to the number of hours of eligible search and rescue volunteer services performed in the year by the individual for the particular organization.”

Please note the Canadian Ski Patrol cannot and will not provide a written certificate to support the above claim because the organization does not meet the criteria and any attempt to claim such will be disallowed by the CRA.

In summary, attempts by members to claim the above two deductions on the T1 General (personal income tax return) will ultimately be disallowed and the CRA will reassess the return inclusive of any applicable interest and penalties.

This does not constitute professional tax advice. If members have further questions please contact your local tax provider directly.

Income tax and your CSP membership