HR Home Forums Community Reimbursing for Gym memberships and other fitness initiatives

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  • Conner Lantz
    Keymaster
    Post count: 4836

    Hi,
    I am in Manitoba. If we decide to reimburse employees for gym memberships or fitness equipment (up to a certain amount) is this a taxable benefit for them?

    Conner Lantz
    Keymaster
    Post count: 4836

    Here’s Alan’s reply:
    The short answer is that paying all or a portion of an employee membership in a gym IS a taxable benefit. However, there are two key exceptions:
    One is if the employer holds the membership, paying a fee to the gym that provides access to all employees. This is equivalent to the employer providing the gym facilities directly, which is not itself a taxable benefit.
    The other is if the employer can clearly demonstrate, i.e. prepared to defend itself to the CRA, that it’s the employer who primarily benefits, i.e. at least 50%. This can happen in several different ways. The employer benefit might be sales related, such as networking and business development, or it could be part of a wellness program, with a demonstrated impact on employee absences, use of extended health benefits, etc.

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