When Free Parking is not Free

In a recent court case Anthony v. Canada(2011 FCA 336) it was held that free parking provided to employees at a workplace is a taxable benefit that must be included in an employee’s income.  This case involved approximately 100 employees of Branksome Hall, a private girls’ school in Toronto.  The employees were assessed a taxable benefit by the CRA based on the Fair market value of the free parking provided by the school.

The wording in the Income Tax Act  as it pertains to taxable benefits seems to give the  CRA  considerable scope in determining what is a taxable benefit.  Armed with this broad definition and a need for ever increasing tax revenues one can only wonder what employee benefit CRA will  set its sights on next.