Financial Compensation Paid to an Emergency Services Volunteer

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A financial compensation not exceeding $1,170 for 2019 ($1,190 for 2020) is tax-exempt if it is paid by a government, a municipality or other public authority to a person who is:

  • a volunteer firefighter;
  • a volunteer ambulance technician;
  • a volunteer assisting in the search and rescue of individuals or in other emergency operations.

However, if the amounts paid (as an allowance or in any other form) and the value of the benefits granted to the volunteer during the year are more than $1,170 for 2019 ($1,190 for 2020), the portion that is over $1,170 ($1,190 for 2020) is taxable and must be included in boxes A, G, I and L of the volunteer's RL-1 slip (see courtesy translation RL-1-T). If the employment is considered to be excepted employment under the Québec Pension Plan (QPP) and Québec parental insurance plan (QPIP) (see “Source deductions and contributions” below), do not include that portion in boxes G and I of the RL-1 slip. You must also enter “L-2” in a blank box of the RL-1 slip, followed by the amount of the tax-exempt financial compensation amount.

Note

A volunteer who elects to claim either the tax credit for volunteer firefighters or the tax credit for volunteers participating in search and rescue activities in the personal income tax return has to include the financial compensation shown in box L-2 of the RL-1 slip received in his or her employment income when completing the income tax return. Despite this, the financial compensation is not subject to source deductions of income tax, QPP contributions, the contribution to the health services fund, the contribution related to labour standards, and, where applicable, the contribution to the Workforce Skills Development and Recognition Fund (WSDRF).

Exception

The exemption does not apply if, during the year, the volunteer worked for the same organization that paid the financial compensation, and he or she carried out duties that were similar or identical to those performed as a volunteer. For example, the exemption cannot be claimed by a volunteer firefighter who works for a municipality if he or she also has full-time or part-time employment with the municipality as a firefighter (whether the employment is permanent or the person has temporary employment as a replacement for a firefighter).

Source deductions and contributions

A taxable benefit related to the portion of financial compensation paid to an emergency services volunteer that exceeds $1,170 (for 2019) is subject to source deductions and employer contributions.

However, the total of all amounts paid (including any financial compensation) is not subject to QPP contributions, if the amounts are paid for employment that is considered to be excepted employment under the QPP.

The total of all amounts paid (including any financial compensation) is not subject to employee and employer QPIP premiums, if the amounts are paid for employment that is considered to be excepted employment under the QPIP.

The financial compensation is not subject to the contribution related to labour standards.

To find out what categories of employment are considered to be excepted employment under the QPP and the QPIP, see the Guide for Employers: Source Deductions and Contributions (TP-1015.G-V).

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