Information for Health and Social Services Centres
As employers, all health and social services centres must determine the status of the workers they hire, as their tax obligations will vary accordingly.
Status of workers
A person working at a health and social services centre can be considered to be either an employee or a self-employed person. The status of a worker is determined mainly on the basis of subordination to an employer, but also on the basis of five other criteria.
For example, a worker is considered to be an employee if, in fact, he or she undertakes to do work for a limited time and for remuneration under the direction or control of an employer.
Conversely, a worker is considered to be self-employed if he or she is free to choose the means of carrying out a contract and there is no relationship of subordination with the employer. For more information on the tax obligations of self-employed workers, refer to the brochure Are you Self-Employed? Taxation Reference Tool (IN-300-V).
Benefits provided to employees
As an employer, a health and social services centre is responsible for withholding Québec income tax at source from all remuneration (salaries, wages and other amounts) it pays to its employees. Furthermore, if it provides taxable benefits to an employee, it must include the value of the benefits in the employee's income. Benefits that an employee receives because of his or her office or employment are generally taxable.
As a rule, an employee receives a taxable benefit in the following circumstances:
- the employer provides him or her with a parking space free of charge or at a price below the fair market value (FMV)
- the employer reimburses him or her for the cost of a parking space
The value of the benefit corresponds to the FMV of the parking space (including GST and QST) minus any amount paid by the employee for its use.
If an employee is provided with a free or subsidized meal (such as meals in an employee dining room or cafeteria), the meal is generally considered to be a taxable benefit. The value of the benefit corresponds to the result of the following calculation: the cost of the food (including GST and QST) and, where applicable, the cost of preparing and serving the food, minus any amount paid by the employee.
However, there is no taxable benefit if meals are provided or meal expenses are reimbursed to employees who work overtime at the employer's request, where the overtime is expected to last for at least two consecutive hours and is done occasionally.
A health and social services centre is generally free to choose the means, tools and methods it will use to calculate the value of the taxable benefits granted to its employees, as long as they are reasonable and reliable. For example, it can:
- ask its employees to provide supporting documents
- provide its employees with punch cards
- keep records to calculate the value of the benefits provided
For more information on taxable benefits, refer to the guide Taxable Benefits (IN-253-V).