Langara Faculty Association still fighting Canada Revenue Agency over faculty parking taxes

Langara Faculty Association is still dealing with the ongoing dispute of taxable benefits.

Lynn Carter, President of the LFA, said a couple years ago that the issue is the Canada Revenue Agency had appraised that the value of the parking is greater in comparisons the school’s own appraisal.

“That meant it became a taxable benefit that we, as members of the faculty or other employees at the college owed back taxes,” Carter said. “Individual faculty filed objections to the evaluations of (the CRA).”

The Voice covered the matter of the LFA where faculty members raised concerns over faculty parking passes that cost 110 dollars per year. The taxes dated back from 2011 to 2014.

Members of the LFA had to owe at least 10 times the yearly amount for the parking passes.

Heidi Hofstad, CRA’s communications manager for the Pacific Region said employer-provided parking is usually a taxable benefit for an employee.

“Variations in an employee’s work schedule due to scheduled or unscheduled days off, or the employee’s choice to not drive to work on certain days, does not usually affect the calculation of the taxable benefit, since the parking is still available for the employee’s use and enjoyment during those particular days,” Hofstad said, via email.

Alison Curtis, Director at Langara Faculty Association said what really upset the members was the retroactive nature of the charge.

“Because it was 2014 and we were now being told ‘Oh by the way in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, you had a taxable benefit.’ We’re going to charge it now,” Curtis said. “That was what people got upset. They didn’t really have a choice.”

The college is still fighting and making appeals to the CRA.

According to Carter, the changes are still not as progressive and that individual LFA members must file their own appeals.

“There’s no change right now. It’s up to the CRA.” Carter said.

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