CRA finds that employer coverage of collision damage to a leased car is ignored for standby charge purposes and that electric vehicle charging costs can be inferred from kilometres

CRA, reversing 2011-0399691I7, found that an amount paid by an employer to compensate a lessor for the total loss of an employer-leased automobile (which was self-insured for collision damages by the employer) was not to be included in the standby charge calculation in s. 6(2), i.e., it no longer considered such amounts to be payable by the employer to the lessor “for the purpose of leasing the automobile.”

CRA also was asked about employees who are provided with electric vehicles for use in performing their employment duties and who are required to recharge the vehicle battery at home - and may not be able to identify the portion of their monthly electricity bill pertaining to such charging. CRA noted that this allocation was relevant because:

  • the electricity costs paid by the employee that are established to be attributable to the personal use of the vehicle reduce the operating expense benefit under s. 6(1)(k)
  • employer reimbursements for reasonable employment-related electricity costs paid by the employee, generally are not a taxable benefit
  • where there is no such reimbursement, employment-related electricity costs that are established may be deductible by the employee under s. 8(1)(h.1), where its documentary requirements are met

CRA then stated:

Where it is not possible to produce supporting documentation showing the exact amount of electricity expenses incurred for an electric vehicle, other means for establishing the amount of employment-related electricity costs may be acceptable. For example, the establishment of an average per-kilometre electricity cost could be a reasonable method.

Neal Armstrong. Summaries of 10 June 2021 External T.I. 2017-0696041E5 under s. 6(2) – E and s. 6(1)(k).