Payroll Information for Treasurers
Please read through all the information carefully prior to beginning your payroll tasks
Please read through all the information carefully prior to beginning your payroll tasks
You may wish to consult with information on the Service Canada website or the Canada Revenue Agency website. Both of these have lots of relevant and important information.
Please note this was formerly the Service Canada website. All the content has been moved to this new site.
If this link is not working for you please copy this address into your browser
The congregation is the employer and as such has certain duties (usually performed by the treasurer).
The employer is responsible for deducting, remitting, and reporting payroll deductions. CRA indicates that the following are the responsibilities the employer must follow:
Remittances can be made by cheque (Receiver General), on-line or at your financial institution. Check CRA website for your due dates.
Whenever an employee, including clergy, leaves their position and experiences an interruption of earnings, the employer must complete a Record of Employment (ROE) form. You can transmit an ROE electronically, or you can complete a paper ROE form. Be aware that there are deadlines for submitting a ROE.
For more information on ROE visit the Service Canada Web site or call Service Canada’s Business Service Centre Help Desk at 1-800-385-5470.
The Service Canada Web site also provides a guide on “How to Complete the Record of Employment Form”
The ELCIC has established a practice of compensating Rostered employees in a number of ways:
Each of these may have a different treatment under the income tax act and for the purpose of calculating Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Employment Insurance (EI) or the ELCIC group pension and benefits. This is described in the following sections and a calculation worksheet has been provided to assist with monthly calculations and to complete the T4.
The salary guidelines of your synod indicate a minimum base salary which will vary depending on the years of services and other relevant factors. All other benefits and with holdings will be calculated on this amount (in addition to some others – keep reading).
Housing/accommodations may be provided in the form of either:
as an effective way to maximize the value of compensation due to preferential tax treatment for a clergy residence. The following table provides some information regarding income tax, CPP and EI with respect to housing. The housing amount is also included in the calculation for ELCIC pension and benefits.
|Taxable Benefit||With holding see more info below table||Reporting|
|General Information||Housing provided is a taxable benefit||Income tax and CPP with holdings may be reduced as this income will be offset by the clergy residence deduction.||All amounts need to be reported on the T4.|
|Parsonage||Employees living in a parsonage are attributed a taxable benefit at the fair market value of rent for similar accommodations in the area.||Clergy should present a completed T1223 Clergy Residence Deduction form and then with holdings can be reduced.||Include amount of taxable benefit in box 14 and box 30 do not include amount in box 26 if with holdings have been reduced|
|Housing Equity||Housing equity as a cash payment is part of income||Income tax, CPP and EI must be deducted||T4 box 14|
|Housing Allowance||Housing allowance as a cash payment is part of income. ELCIC recommends that such an allowance be paid at the fair market value of rent for similar accomodations in the area (annual review should be undertaken)||Clergy needs to complete a T1213 Request to Reduce Tax Deductions At Source for Year(s). CRA will then issue a Letter of Authority and then with holdings can be reduced.||include amount of taxable benefit in box 14; do not include amount in box 26 if with holdings have been reduced.|
|Utilities||Utilities paid by congregations are a taxable benefit and can include: hydro, natural gas, water, phone, cable and internet.||with holdings can be reduce by the amount of utilities paid||include amount paid as a taxable benefit in box 14 and box 40 do not include amount in box 26 if with holdings have been reduced.|
If your employee knows that they will be claiming their residence as a deduction when they file their tax return, they may wish to reduce the amounts withheld from their pay each month, as they anticipate that it will be refunded. In order to reduce the withholdings the employee will need to file a T1213 annually. Note that the T1213 lists several possible deductions; clergy residence is at the top of the second page. Please advise them to enter the amount and attach a copy of their previous year’s T1223 Clergy Residence Deduction form to CRA.
Do not reduce the withholdings until you have the Letter of Authority from CRA.
It is recommended that the T1213 be filed by November to allow sufficient time for CRA to issue the Letter of Authority for the following year. Please note that filing the T1213 is not mandatory, and if not completed, the pay withholdings should not be reduced and the employee may get a refund accordingly when they file their return with a T1223 Clergy Residence Deduction form.
Also, please be aware that the clergy residence deduction will reduce CPP contributions only to the extent that the reduction is below the YMPE threshold.
The employee has to complete Parts A and C of the T1223 and the employer has to complete Part B that will certify the employee has met the required conditions. The employee should file a copy of the form with his or her income tax return and keep a copy of the signed form for their records.
For detailed information on the Clergy Housing Deduction, refer to Interpretation Bulletin IT-141R
Reducing CPP due to Clergy Residence Deduction:
Most rostered ministers claim a clergy residence deduction (CRD) when they file their annual tax return. As a treasurer, you may reduce the withholdings for income tax and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) if you have Letter of Authority from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This letter is issued upon successful application by the rostered minister by submitting a T1213 and T1223 to CRA.
The clergy residence deduction will reduce CPP contributions only to the extent it reduces earnings below the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE). Please review your payroll calculations if the rostered minister is earning more than the YPME as only a portion, or maybe none of the deduction may be eligible to reduce CPP contributions.
Also note that the net earnings (gross minus CRD) are entered in box 26, not the YMPE less the CRD (unless the net earnings exceed the YMPE, in which case the YMPE is entered). If you have entered this amount incorrectly you may receive a PIER report from CRA indicating that the congregation owes CPP contributions.
There are two options for book compensation:
1. Book Allowance – the flat-rate amount is a taxable benefit and must be included on the T4. Income tax should be withheld; CPP and EI must be paid on this amount. If the employee intends to claim books purchased with the allowance as work expenses on their personal income tax return, the employer must complete form T2200 and the employee must keep receipts as CRA may request them when assessing the return.
2. Book Reimbursement – When the employee submits receipts to the employer and is reimbursed for book purchases related to their employment responsibilities there is no taxable benefit assessed. (Note: Retention or disposal of the books at termination of employment is not a factor)
Note: Pension and benefits are not paid on compensation for books.
Participation in CEP is required for all employees with a Call.
Refer to the CEP policy for rates and other information. The policy and all related forms are on this website.
Employees are enrolled in the ELCIC pension and benefits plans based on eligibility. Please go to Pension and Benefits Employment Events (one tab down) – New Employee to review the eligibility and enrollment requirements. There is also information about the forms to complete, but the actual forms are on the ‘Forms & Worksheets’ page.
CPP pensionable income is earned income on which CPP premiums must be paid. This includes base salary plus the taxable benefits of life insurance premiums, housing equity allowance, and book allowance. The exclusions from CPP Pensionable Income are the fair rental value of the parsonage and utilities or a housing allowance (where there is no parsonage) and as long as the employee is eligible for the clergy housing deduction and provides the required documents.
Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website to determine eligibility and requirements for CPP contributions.
|Employee contribution rate
Employer contribution rate
|Maximum pensionable earning for CPP (after basic exemption of$3,500)||
|Maximum employee annual contribution||
|Maximum employer annual contribution||
Please remember to cease deductions for CPP contributions when you reach the maximums stated.
There have been several changes to the CPP program. Please visit the Services Canada website to become familiar with those.
EI insurable earnings are earned income on which EI premiums must be paid. This includes base salary, housing allowance, housing equity allowance, utilities allowance, book allowance, and auto allowance if taxable. The exclusion from EI insurable earnings is the life insurance premiums paid by the employer.
There is no age limit for withholding EI premiums.
|Maximum insurable earnings for EI||$53,100||
|Maximum employee annual contribution||$860.22||
|Maximum employer contribution||$1,204.31||
As an employer, your EI premium is 1.4 times the EI premium deducted for each employee. Please remember to cease deductions for EI contributions when you reach the maximums stated
It is recommended that each employee complete a TD1 each year.
There may be a number of expenses that the congregation pays for such as:
These costs are not a taxable benefit as they are required to complete the duties of employment. Any personal portion within these costs that the congregation pays for must be reimbursed by the employee or assigned a taxable benefit. For example, spouse travelling to convention, personal use of a cell phone etc. would be reported on the T4 slip in Box 14 and Box 40.
Please check the labour law website in your jurisdiction to determine if workers compensation premiums are required. In most cases they may not be, but it could depend on your unique circumstances. The Canadian Council of Christian Charities issued a Bulletin in April 2014 which has a helpful article for your reference.
Any payment for pastoral supply is considered employment income and subject to deductions as per CRA payroll deduction and exemption guidelines i.e. EI, CPP, Income Tax . ELCIC Pension Plan contributions may also be required if the clergy is a member of the plan. If you do not know if the individual is a member of the ELCIC pension plan, please call GSI. A T4 is required.
An intern assigned to a congregation is an employee of that congregation, and any payment to an intern is considered employment income and subject to deductions as per CRA payroll deduction and exemption guidelines – please remember to budget accordingly. Interns are not eligible for ELCIC pension and group benefits so no deductions or remittances to GSI are required.
A T4A slip and summary form will have to be completed if you pay income for honoraria for services provided to your congregation, research grants, scholarships, study grants, fellowships, bursaries and prizes, and the total of all payments in the calendar year were more than $500. You will have to obtain the recipients social insurance number and address.
Information on T4A filing can be obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency website and is outlined in the publication “RC4157 (E), Deducting Income Tax on Pension and Other Income, and Filing the T4A Slip and Summary Form”. The T4A slip is available in a PDF or PDF fillable form which can be downloaded.
All eligible and non-eligible retiring allowance amounts must be reported on a T4.
Taxable benefits are those benefits or allowances paid by the employer on behalf of the employee that must be recorded on the T4. The payment is made either to the employee (cash) or directly to the creditor who supplied the goods or services to the employee (non-cash). If the employer pays an expense directly to a supplier on behalf of an employee, and the expense is not deductible on the employee’s personal tax return, the total amount paid by the employer must be included in the income of the employee.
When you pay or provide a taxable benefit or allowance to your employee in addition to salaries and wages, you have to include the value of the benefit in the employee’s income. This applies to all cash and non-cash benefits or allowances that are taxable.
To determine the total amount subject to payroll deductions, you must add the taxable benefit or allowance to the employee’s income each pay period and withhold deductions in the normal manner. For tax purposes, if a non-cash benefit is of such a large value that withholding of income tax will cause undue hardship, you can spread the withholding over the balance of the year.
The life insurance and accidental death coverage for employees is included in a bundled benefit within the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan. According to CRA, if these premiums paid by an employer on behalf of an employee, they are taxable and pensionable (CPP must be deducted) but are not insurable (EI is not deducted).
On the T4 slip, this benefit would be reported in Box 14 “Employment Income” and also in included in Box 40 “Other Information – Other Taxable Benefits & Allowances”. To calculate the taxable benefit please use the worksheet on the forms and worksheets page of this website.
The following principles determine eligibility and reimbursement amounts or travel allowances for travel expenses incurred by rostered ministers serving one or more congregations in a full-time, part-time, multi-point parish, interim or supply basis:
1. Rostered ministers who are required to travel as part of their work shall be reimbursed for travel, meals and accommodations. Compensation options specific to an minister’s vehicle are as follows:
2. All travel incurred on congregational business must be logged by the rostered minister. If the rostered minister is receiving payment under #1a above, a copy of the log must be provided to the congregational treasurer prior to receiving payment. If the rostered minister is receiving payment under #1b above and/or planning to claim an income tax deduction for travel, the log is retained by the rostered minister for use when filing their income tax return.
3. Travel between a rostered minister’s home and his/her primary place(s) of employment is considered personal driving and is not eligible for reimbursement on a tax free-basis, in accordance with CRA requirements.
In those situations where travel reimbursement on a tax-free basis is not permissible, a travel allowance based on an estimate of mileage may be negotiated between the congregation and the rostered minister. This approach may be advisable in situations where a rostered minister is serving one or more congregations on an interim or supply basis where significant travel between home and these congregations is required.
This travel allowance is a taxable benefit to which income tax, CPP and EI deductions apply. The rostered minister is responsible for determining whether this allowance is eligible to be claimed as a deduction on their income tax return, based on information provided by the congregation on the T2200 Declaration of Conditions of Employment form (see below) and CRA guidance (refer to Automobile and Motor Vehicle Benefits and Allowance).
4. Group Pension and Group Benefits are not paid on compensation for travel.
Regardless of whether a rostered minister is reimbursed for travel expenses (refer to #1a above), receives a travel allowance (refer to #1b above) or receives no reimbursement or allowance, the congregation should provide the pastor with a completed T2200 Declaration of Conditions of Employment form.
If a travel allowance is provided (refer to #1b and #3 above), the congregation must issue a T4 to the rostered minister indicating the amount of the travel allowance in Box 14 “Employment income” and in the “Other information” area under code 40 at the bottom of the T4 slip.
Note: Normally an “employer-employee” relationship exists between the congregation and the rostered minister serving that congregation. This applies even in the case of a rostered minister serving in a supply capacity.
Here is a quick checklist for taxable benefits
|Taxable Benefit||Benefits Subject to Deduction||Benefits Subject to Deduction||Benefits Subject to Deduction||T4 Requirements||T4 Requirements|
|Income Box||Taxable Benefit Box|
|Life Insurance Premiums||Yes||No||Yes||Box 14||Box 40|
|Parsonage||No*||Yes||No *||Box 14||Box 30|
|Housing Allowance||No*||Yes||No *||Box 14|
|Utilities Allowance||No||Yes||No||Box 14||Box 40|
|Housing Equity Allowance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Box 14|
|Book Allowance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Box 14||Box 40|
|Vehicle Allowance - flat monthly amount||Yes||Yes||Yes||Box 14||Box 40|
|Vehicle Allowance - reimbursed for actual work kilometres||No||No||No||N/A||N/A|
|Telephone/Internet - personal use portion if paid by employer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Box 14||Box 40|
* with letter of authority
Employers have to file their T4 information return by the last day of February following the calendar year to which the information return applies. If the last day of February is a Saturday, Sunday, or a statutory holiday, your information return is due the next business day.
You have to give two copies of the slips to your employees by the last day of February following the calendar year to which the slips apply.
A T4 information return includes the T4 slips and the related T4 summary form. For more information on how to file a T4 return, see the publication “RC4120 – Employer’s Guide – Filing the T4 Slip and Summary” on the CRA web site.
T4 slips and summaries can be filed electronically or on paper.
To file electronically, go to the CRA website and use “my Business Account” or if you are not set up with an account you will need a Web access code (WAC), which can be obtained by calling CRA help desk at 1.877.322.7849. If you are technology savvy there are a few different internet filing options available.
You can file up to 50 T4 slips on paper. These returns should be mailed to the Ottawa Technology Centre, CRA, 875 Heron Road, Ottawa, ON, K1A 1G9. If the T4 slips are handwritten, please make sure they are neat and legible.
You can download PDF or PDF fillable form from the CRA website.
Employer’s Name: Enter the name of the employer as registered with CRA and used to remit employee deductions. Generally, this will be the name of your congregation.
Employee’s Name and Address: Print or type the employee’s last name in capital letters, followed by the first name and initials. Do not enter the title of office or courtesy title of the employee. Enter the employee’s address, including the province or territory, postal code, and country if other than Canada.
Year: Enter the four digits of the calendar year in which you paid the remuneration to the employee.
Box – Void: Enter an “X” in this box only if the T4 is cancelled. Otherwise leave blank.
Box 10 – Province of Employment: Enter one of the following abbreviations to indicate the province or territory in which the employee reported to work.
Box 12 – Social Insurance Number: Enter the employee’s social insurance number (SIN) as it appears on the employee’s SIN card.
Box 14 – Employment Income: Report the total employment income paid before deductions. This includes the total of all salary, wages, bonuses, vacation pay, allowances and the value of all taxable benefits. Include each of the amounts that are also reported in the “Other Information” area of the T4 supplementary.
Box 16 and 17 – Employee’s CPP/QPP Contributions: Enter the amount deducted from the employee’s earnings for contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Québec Pension Plan (QPP). Make the entry under CPP (Box 16) or QPP (Box 17) depending on the province of employment. Do not enter the employer’s share of premiums.
Box 18 – Employee’s EI Premiums: Enter the amount of Employment Insurance (EI) deducted from the employee’s earnings. Do not enter the employer’s share of premiums.
Box 20 – Registered Pension Plan (RPP) Contributions: Enter the total amount deducted from the employee’s earnings for contributions to the ELCIC Pension Plan for Clergy and Lay Workers, or other registered pension plan. This amount will include any additional voluntary contributions deducted from the employee’s earnings during the year. Do not include the employer’s contribution to the registered pension plan in this box.
Box 22 – Income Tax Deducted: Enter the total income tax deducted from the employee’s earnings. This includes federal, provincial (except for Québec) and territorial taxes that apply. Do not include any amount withheld under the authority of a “garnishee” or a “requirement to pay” which applies to the employee’s previously assessed tax arrears.
Box 24 – EI Insurable Earnings: Enter the amount of insurable earnings you used to calculate the employee’s EI premiums. Leave this box blank if:
Box 26 – CPP/QPP Pensionable Earnings: This box must always be completed. Enter the total amount that was used to calculate the employee’s CPP of QPP contributions, up to the maximum pensionable earnings for the year. If the pensionable earnings were reduced due to the clergy residence deduction, the reduced amount should be entered here. Note that the clergy residence deduction will reduce CPP contributions only to the extent that the reduction is below the YMPE threshold.
This box is applicable for all employees between the ages of 18 an 70. Ensure that pensionable non cash taxable benefits are included as well.
Box 28 – CPP/QPP and EI Exempt: Leave box blank if you entered an amount in Box 16, 17 or 26. Enter an “X” under “CPP/QPP” if the earnings were exempt for the entire period.
Do not complete the EI part of this box if you entered an amount in box 18 or 24. Enter an “X” under “EI” if the earnings were exempt for the entire period.
Box 29 – Employment Code: Leave this box blank.
Box 44 – Union Dues: Use this box only if you and the union agree that the union will not issue receipts for union dues of employees.
Box 46 – Charitable Donations: Enter the amount you deducted from the employee’s earnings for donations to registered charities in Canada.
Box 50 – RPP Registration Number: Enter the seven-digit registration number issued for an employee’s pension plan. The registration number for the ELCIC Pension Plan for Clergy and Lay Workers is 0533240.
Box 52 – Pension Adjustment: The amount of an employee’s pension adjustment is the total of:
Leave box 52 blank if the employee died during the year.
Box 54 – Business Number: Enter the 15-digit Business Number (BN) that you use when remitting employee deductions.
Other Information Area: At the bottom of the T4 supplementary, additional information regarding taxable benefits is reported for government statistical purposes. On the back of the T4, there is a listing of benefits and the corresponding box numbers. Most congregations will need to note the following two benefits in particular:
Box 55 – Employee’s PPIP Premiums: Enter the PPIP premiums that you deducted for employees working in Quebec.
Box 56 – PPIP Insurable Earnings: For employees working in Quebec, enter the total amount used to calculate the employee’s PPIP premiums up to the maximum. Leave box blank if there are no insurable earnings, the insurable earnings are the same as the employment income in box 14, or the insurable earnings are over the maximum for the year.
Use the T4 Summary, to report the totals of the amounts reported on the related T4 slips. In the boxes at the top of the form, enter the 15-digit Business Number (BN), your organization’s name and address information.
Year – Enter the two last digits of the calendar year for which you are filing the return.
Line 14 – Employment Income: Add the amounts reported in Box 14 of all the T4 slips and enter the total on line 14.
Line 16 – Employees CPP Contributions: Add the amounts reported in Box 16 of all the T4 slips and enter the total on line 16.
Line 18 – Employees EI Premiums: Add the amounts reported in Box 18 of all T4 slips and enter the total on line 18.
Line 19 – Employer EI Premiums: Enter the employer’s share of Employment Insurance premiums. Multiply the employee’s total premiums reported in line 18 by 1.4 and enter this number on line 19.
Line 20 – Registered Pension Plan Contributions: Add the amounts reported in Box 20 of all T4 slips and enter the total on line 20.
Line 22 – Income Tax Deducted: Add the amounts reported in Box 22 of all T4 slips and enter the total on line 22.
Line 27 – Employer CPP Contributions: Enter the employer’s share of CPP contributions. The employer’s premiums are equal to the employees’ premiums as reported on line 16.
Line 52 – Pension Adjustment: Add the amounts reported in Box 52 of all the T4 slips and enter the total on line 52.
Lines 76 and 78 – Person to Contact: Enter the name and telephone number of a person who can be contacted to clarify any of the information on the T4 Summary or T4 Slips.
Line 80 – Total Deductions Reported: Add the amounts reported on lines 16, 18, 19, 22, and 27 of the T4 Summary form and enter the total on line 80.
Line 82 – Remittances: Enter the total amount of remittances to the Receiver General for the year.
Difference: Subtract Line 82 from Line 80 and enter this amount under “Difference”. If the result on line “Difference” is zero, leave lines 84 and 86 blank.
Line 84 – Overpayment: If the result on line “Difference” is negative, enter the result on Line 84, “Overpayment.” Attach a note indicating the reason for the overpayment.
Line 86 – Balance Due: If the result on line “Difference” is positive, enter it on line 86, “Balance Due”.
Amount Enclosed: If there is a balance due, attach a cheque made payable to “Receiver General”.
Line 88 – Total Number of T4 Slips Filed: Enter the total number of T4 slips that are included with the T4 Summary form.
Certification: A current officer of the organization must sign the T4 information return.
For an individual to be eligible for the clergy residence deduction they must meet both the “status test” and “function test” as defined by CRA. Part B of form T1223 must be completed by the employer to certify that the employee fits the criteria.
To satisfy the “status” test, the employee must belong to a recognized clergy group of their religious order. The recognized clergy groups in the ELCIC are the three recognized rosters: bishops, ordained ministers and diaconal ministers. The employee must be on one of these rosters to satisfy the status test.
To satisfy the “function” test, the rostered employee must minister to a congregation or be in full-time administration with the religious order and the clergy employee must be recognized by the religious order to provide the Sacraments. Chaplains in hospitals, correctional facilities and the military are considered to be ministering to congregations. Teachers in educational institutions are specifically excluded by CRA from being allowed the clergy residence deduction.
For further information, refer to CRA’s Interpretation Bulletin IT-141R (Consolidated).
The employer must complete the T2200 form for the employee to deduct employment expenses from his or her income. The employee does not have to file this form with his or her return, but must keep it in case the CRA wants to see it.
For information on how to complete the form, please visit the CRA website or call the GSI offices at at 1-877-352-4247