Scholarships, bursaries, tuition, and training

Employee

You may provide an employee, or former employee, with a scholarship or bursary on the condition that the employee returns to employment with you on completing the course. In this situation, the amount of the scholarship or bursary is considered to be employment income for the employee or former employee.

You have to report on a T4 slip any scholarships, fellowships, or bursaries you gave to an employee if they primarily benefit the employee. If you get any questions from your employee about the income, you can refer him or her to S1-F2-C3: Scholarships, Research Grants and Other Education Assistance or to the General income tax and benefit package.

Specific employment-related training

We generally consider that courses taken to maintain or upgrade employment-related skills are mainly for your benefit when it is reasonable to assume that the employee will resume his or her employment for a reasonable period of time after he or she completes the course.

For example, tuition fees and other associated costs such as books, meals, travel, and accommodation that you pay for courses leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate in a field related to your employee's current or future responsibilities in your business are not a taxable benefit.

General employment-related training

We generally consider that other business-related courses, although not directly related to your own business, are taken mainly for your benefit.

For example, fees you pay for stress management, employment equity, first aid, and language courses are not a taxable benefit.

Personal interest training

We consider that courses for personal interest or technical skills not related to your business are taken mainly for the employee's benefit and, therefore, are a taxable benefit.

Family members

If you provide a scholarship or bursary program for the family members of your employees, or, as an educational institution, offer free tuition to the family members of your employees, do not  include any scholarship or bursary in an employee’s income unless the education benefit is provided as a substitute for salary, wages or other remuneration, or you do not deal with the employee at arm’s length. Instead, report the FMV of such amounts as a scholarship on a T4A slip for the family member.

If a family member meets certain criteria, he or she may be able to exclude the amount from income on his or her income tax and benefit return. If you get any questions, you can refer them to the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide.

For more information, see:

GST/HST, payroll deductions, and reporting

Certain tuition fees may be subject to GST/HST. If paying tuition fees results in a taxable benefit for an employee and the fees are subject to GST/HST, include GST/HST in the value of the benefit.

Payroll deductions

If the benefit is taxable, it is also pensionable. Deduct CPP contributions and income tax. If the taxable benefit is paid in cash, it is insurable. Deduct EI premiums. If it is a non-cash benefit, it is not insurable. Do not deduct EI premiums.

Reporting the benefit

If the tuition fees, scholarship or bursary is taxable, report the employee's benefit in box 14 "Employment income" and in the "Other information" area under code 40 at the bottom of the T4 slip. For more information, see T4 - Information for employers.

If you are reporting tuition fees, scholarships, or bursaries for the family member of your employee, report its fair market value on a T4A slip for the family member in the "Other information" area under code 105. For more information, see T4A - Information for payers.

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