1977 Federal Budget - Loans to employees

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 789, 1978

R. D. Brown, F.C.A., Price Waterhouse & Co. Toronto, Ontario

In the spring of 1977, Revenue Canada announced its intention to proceed in 1978 with a plan to impute a taxable benefit on interest-free and low-interest loans provided to employees. Such loan arrangements are often an important aspect of the compensation packages provided by many companies to their employees. Since the original announcement, there have been many submissions to Revenue Canada opposing this change, and the Finance Minister has now brought down a compromise solution with the introduction of a proposed amendment to the Income Tax Act. The amendment, which would not take effect until the 1979 taxation year, would require an employee, a shareholder or a related person to include a benefit in income measured as the difference between the interest on any such loan computed at bank prime rate and any interest actually paid. Only the amount of such a benefit in excess of $500 in a particular year would be required to be included in income. Of particular interest is the exclusion from these benefit rules of loans up to $50,000 in respect of the purchase of a house on the relocation of an employee and loans provided for the purchase of shares of an employer corporation.