In this chat, you'll find current payroll tax rates that would be of interest to Canadian small business owners and bookkeepers who work from home.
Have a cup of tea while you browse through this chat.
Click here for 2013 CPP rates & EI rates.
Table of Contents for Series
Payroll Tax Deductions Employee Taxable Benefits
Current EI & CPP Rates Paying Employees With Cash
Subcontracting Reporting Requirements
Minimum Wage Rates Provincial Labor Standards
You can scroll down the page to find which rate you are looking for or click on one of the QUICK LINKS to go right to the topic you are interested in.
What you will find in this chat ...
The 2012 federal budget delivered on March 29 proposed CEIFB set the EI rates as follows: 2013 - 1.88%; 2014 - 1.93%; 2015 - 1.98%; 2016 - 1.95%
|Employee Contibution Rate|
see note 1 & 3
|Employer Contibution Rate|
see note 3
|Maximum Insurable Earnings|
see note 2
see note 2
|Self Employed Voluntary Program Contribution Rate |
see note 3
|Self Employed Minimum Annual|
see note 3
Note 1 - On September 30, 2010, the Finance Minister announced that EI premiums for 2011 will rise by no more than 5 cents (.05%) per $100 of insurable earnings (instead of the expected 15 cents (.15%)) to 1.78% ... and 10 cents (.10%) for subsequent years.
However, on November 7, 2011, the Finance Minister announced EI premiums will only rise by 5 cents to 1.83% for 2012 due to the global economic slowdown.
Then on June 29, 2012 Bill C-38: the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act was given Royal Assent. One of the elements in this bill is to "ensure stable, predictable EI premium rates by limiting premium rate increases to 5 cents each year until the EI Operating Account is in balance, and then moving to a seven-year break-even rate".
Note 2 - 2013 EI maximum insurable earnings were released on September 14 by CEIFB. The operating account is expected to breakeven in 2013. Here are your 2013 amounts:
2013 EI maximum insurable earnings are $47,400. The maximum amount in 2012 was $45,900.
Current CRA Payroll Deductions Tables 2013 EI maximum contribution is $891.12. The maximum amount in 2012 was $839.97. Note 3 - Employers will continue to contribute 1.4 times the employee rates. Self-employed sole proprietors do NOT make EI contributions unless they have opted into the voluntary program. If they have joined, they pay the same rates as employees. The Canada Employment Insurance Finance Board (CEIFB) was established in June 2008 to improve the governance and management of the EI Account. It reports to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. The Employment Insurance Commission will continue to be responsible "for supporting the EI appeal system, making regulations with the approval of the Governor in Council and reviewing and approving policies related to EI program administration and delivery." source: http://www.rhdcc-hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/ei/ceifb/index.shtml
More On Payroll ...
2012 Changes to CPP
Filing Deadlines and Due Dates
Latest CRA Information
Current CRA Form TD1 Personal Tax Credits Return ... The latest form should be used by bookkeepers for all new employees or revisions to existing employees.
Who sets the EI rates?
Current CRA Payroll Deductions Tables
2013 EI maximum contribution is $891.12. The maximum amount in 2012 was $839.97.
Note 3 - Employers will continue to contribute 1.4 times the employee rates. Self-employed sole proprietors do NOT make EI contributions unless they have opted into the voluntary program. If they have joined, they pay the same rates as employees.
The Canada Employment Insurance Finance Board (CEIFB) was established in June 2008 to improve the governance and management of the EI Account. It reports to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.
The Employment Insurance Commission will continue to be responsible "for supporting the EI appeal system, making regulations with the approval of the Governor in Council and reviewing and approving policies related to EI program administration and delivery."
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) introduced new Employment Insurance (EI) measures for self-employed persons, that came into effect in January 2010. Claims** can be made after twelve months of participation in the program which meant people were first eligible in January 2011, if they were registered before April 1, 2010. This is a voluntary program.
"If you are a self-employed person, or if you are employed by a corporation and you control more than 40 percent of the voting shares of that corporation, you will be able to voluntarily enter into an agreement, through Service Canada, to be eligible for EI special benefits ... If you enter into such an agreement, you will be required to calculate and pay EI premiums on your tax returns for the applicable years."
Independent workers (taxi drivers, fishermen, hair dressers) are NOT eligible for this program as they are eligible for regular EI.
You can find more details on how to apply on the Service Canada website at A to Z Services Index> S> Self Employed EI benefits ... or you can visit my favorite tax website for a factual, easy to read break down. The special benefits are listed as well as qualifications to enter the program.
The cost will be the same premiums as salaried employees. You will NOT have to pay the employer portion which is 1.4 times the employee rate.
**One caveat - This program does not include regular EI benefits. Once you collect EI from this program, you will not be allowed to remove yourself from it (if you stay self-employed) ... so take time to make your decision before increasing your home business taxes.
Initial reference: Government of Canada news release November 3, 2009
EE = employee's portion, ER = employer's portion
|EE / ER Contibution Rate|
see note 1 & 5
see note 2
|Maximum Pensionable Earnings|
see note 3
see note 4
|Maximum Monthly Contribution|
see note 4
|Self Employed Contribution Rate|
see note 5
|Self Employed Maximum Contribution|
see note 5
|Self Employed Maximum Monthly|
Contribution see note 5
Note 1 - CPP payroll tax rates for employers and employees have held steady at 4.95% since 2003 and will NOT be changing in 2013 as it was capped in 2003 (see resource note below).
Note 2 - first $3,500 of earnings continue to be exempt. However, thresholds and maximum contributions increase each year as average weekly salaries increase.
Note 3 - 2013 CPP maximum pensionable earnings are $51,100. The rate in 2012 was $50,100.
Note 4 - 2013 CPP maximum contribution is $2,356.20 ($196.35 per month). The maximum amount in 2012 was $2,306.70 ($192.22 per month).
Note 5 - Employers will continue to contribute 1.0 times the employee rates. This means the maximum self-employed contribution is double ($2,356.20 x 2 = $4.712.40 or $392.70 per month).
Resource: The CPP Payroll Tax Hike: Macroeconomic Transition Costs and Alternatives by Peter Dungan Institute for Policy Analysis published in Canadian Public Policy Vol. XXIV, No. 3 1998
Employees between 65-70 of age who are already receiving CPP benefits must file an election (Form CPT30 Election to Stop Contributing to the Canada Pension Plan, or Revocation of a Prior Election) with CRA if they do NOT want to continue making contributions.
Employees between 65-70 years old who have filed elections can revoke them ... but the revocation doesn't come into effect until the following calendar year.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) was created in December 1997 by an Act of Parliament to manage the CPP investment portfolio. This federal Crown corporation operates like a private sector investment management company with several legislative safeguards to protect it from political interference.
Their role is "to invest the CPP Fund to maximize returns without undue risk of loss".
CPPIB does not administer CPP benefits; this is done by The Canada Pension Plan. The Chief Actuary of Canada reviews the funding of the CPP program every three years.
"The Budget 2012 announced that the 2010–2012 triennial review of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) confirms the financial sustainability of the Plan, as reported by the Chief Actuary of the CPP, for at least the next 75 years at the current contribution rate."
source: http://www.cppib.ca/About_Us> sustainability backgrounder; Department of Finance's Economic & Fiscal Implications of Canada's Aging Population report
Historical rates (1997 - 2011) for CPP and EI can be found on CRA's website under Business>Payroll> Calculating deductions> CPP> CPP contributions, maximums and exemptions ... and Business> Payroll> Calculating deductions> EI> EI premium rates and maximums respectively.
LET'S CHAT ABOUT ...
In this day and age of computers, sometimes it is hard to know and understand how a number is calculated. Have you ever wanted to figure out your CPP and EI deductions by hand?
If you don't have a payroll program or service, and your payroll requirements are minimal, you can go to the CRA website and use their Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC). It will calculate the correct payroll tax rates for each employee.
Generally, here is how to calculate the employee and employer's portion for CPP and EI manually so you can spot check your overall payroll tax rates for CPP contributions and EI premiums.
Remember, this is the calculation for a single payroll run. If you are proofing your full year, omit the "divide by the number of pay periods in the year" part of the calculation.
Calculation of payroll tax rates for CPP contributions - The gross payroll less the basic exemption ($3500 per employee divided by the number of pay periods in the year) times the CPP contribution rate of 4.95% (2013) equals the CPP premium (employee portion). The employer portion is equal to the employee contributions.
For example: Gross Pay of $2,500 - ($3,500 / 24 pay periods = $145.83) x 4.95% = $116.53 employee CPP contribution + $116.53 CPP employer portions = $233.06 total CPP contribution remittance due to CRA for this one employee.
||CPP Maximum Contribution Per Employee
||CPP Maximum Pensionable Earnings Per Employee||CPP Basic Exemption Per Employee
||CPP Contribution Rate
||CPP Employer Portion|
Calculation of payroll tax rates for EI premiums - The gross payroll times the EI premium rate of 1.88% (2013) equals the EI premium (employee portion). The employer portion is 1.4 times the employee premiums. Note there is no basic exemption for EI premiums.
For example: Gross Pay of $2,500 x 1.88% = $47.00 employee EI premium + ($47.00 x 1.4 EI employer portion) = $112.80 total EI premium remittance due to CRA for this one employee.
||EI Maximum Premiums Per Employee
||EI Maximum Insurable Earnings Per Employee||EI Basic Exemption Per Employee
||EI Premium Rate
||EI Employer Portion|
Now you can quickly verify that your payroll taxes were calculated using the proper payroll tax rates.
Employees who have over payments to EI and CPP in the year receive a refund when they file their annual personal tax return.
Overpayments can happen if an employee has more than one job or retires during the year. The employer portion of the overpayment is NOT refundable.
You will want to check the CRA payroll tables each year to determine the maximum pensionable / insurable earnings, the contribution/premium rates and maximum contributions / premiums.
Following are the limits for 2013 with regards RRSP and defined benefit limits:
Click here for historical rates back to 1990.
Acronyms Index and Definitions:
Source: CRA website
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PIER stands for Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review. It is a review CRA performs every year on T4 slips and T4 summaries submitted. They examine whether the correct payroll tax rates were used in your source deductions, and if remittances and reporting were adequate.
If you receive a PIER report (usually sometime during the summer), CRA has found a payroll tax rate deficiency in your records for the year under review. OOPS! The report comes with detailed instructions on how to proceed.
Here are two references on the CRA website that should help you deal with any CPP or EI under/over payments ... as you cannot recover shortfalls by adjusting the employee's income tax deductions.
A to Z index> Payroll> C> CPP ... Overpayment (includes information on recoveries as well)
A to Z index> Payroll> E> EI, Employment Insurance> EI overpayment and recovering EI premiums
If you are looking for more information on PIER reports, here is your reference:
A to Z index> Payroll> P> PIER-Employment Insurance (EI)
To determine the pay rates for statutory holidays, refer to your provincial labour standards if you are under provincial regulations ... or federal labour standards for those under federal jurisdiction.
For BC, here is the link to the BC Ministry of Labour Statutory Holidays Fact Sheet ...
The Tax Detective blog on November 19, 2010 mentions that in B.C., "if a stat holiday falls on a regular day off, an eligible employee is to be paid an average day's pay, but the employer isn't required to give the employee another day off. Unless you have a very generous employer, don't expect to be paid for the statutory holidays and to get a day off in lieu, it will be one or the other, not both."
It should also be noted that Boxing Day is not a statutory holiday in B.C.
For Alberta ...
For Ontario ...
For federal standards and all other provinces / territories, try this link ...
LET'S CHAT ABOUT ...
As a small owner manager, the employer portion of payroll tax rates burdens your payroll. The question you need to ask is ... when is it mandatory to pay CPP contributions and EI premiums to your employees?
CPP is a mandatory deduction for anyone employed between the ages of 18 and 70.
Everyone who is employed must contribute to EI. There are no age restrictions. Employees with earnings under $2,000 receive a 100% refund when they file their tax return. Those who earn over $2,000 may receive a partial refund calculated as follows: premiums paid - (earnings - $2,000) = refund.
The above are general rules. There are a lot of exceptions. So now let's answer that question by looking at when CPP and EI do not have to paid by the employer.
Some income is exempt from paying CPP contributions and EI premiums.
There used to be a nice short list of what was exempt. In 2012, CRA revised the site. While it is more comprehensive, it is harder to locate what is exempt now. Under the new site, you have two places to look:
Another spot that might be useful if you are researching this area of payroll tax rates is CPP/EI Explained which discusses various rulings.
LET'S CHAT ABOUT ...
Jennifer Thieme, ezine author has an excellent article on How to Pay Employees with Cash. Just bing/google it to find the article.
Her method uses QuickBooks®. The bonus to you? Her method protects your business while accommodating the employee.
A short recap
Why is this necessary? It protects your business in the event of an employee dispute or a payroll audit.
I would handle the payroll run a bit differently though than the article suggests.
My choice would be to run these payroll cheques through a QuickBooks bank account type called "Payroll - Cash". This account would act as a clearing account. After each payroll disbursement, the account balance should be zero. Here's how it would work.
Step One - Do a separate payroll run for cash. Enter your payroll data as usual applying the proper payroll tax rates. This will also create pay stubs for each employee. Print out your summary payroll report.
Step Two - In your accounting software package, release the pay "cheques" issued in the employee's name. The memo field could mention that it was paid in cash. Each "cheque" would be coded to the Payroll-Cash account. Print out the pay stub for each employee.
Step Three - On or about payday, write a cheque from your regular bank account issued in your name for the exact amount of the cash payroll run (calculated in step one), ensuring the memo area of the cheque is completed and stating the payroll period. The cheque would be coded to the Payroll-Cash account. Attach the payroll report as backup.
Check Point on Account Balance - The payroll "cheques" offset the cash withdrawal from your bank. Your clearing account should now be zero if you did everything correctly.
Step Four- Prepare a pay envelope that contains each employee's cash payment AND their pay stub (which you prepared in step two).
Step Five - When you give the employee their pay envelope, have them sign for the pay either in a log (like at Canada Post when you pickup a registered letter/parcel) or on your copy of the pay stub. Have the employee open the envelope in front of you and count his/her pay.
Check Point on Payroll Tax Rates - I would like to emphasize
that your payroll tax rates are the same as any employee paid by cheque
or direct deposit. You would include and pay your payroll taxes on these
cash payments in with your normal payroll source deduction remittance
on form PD7A.
Make sure you learn CRA's rules on hiring temporary / casual labor so you don't get into trouble if/when audited.
This concludes my notes on payroll tax rates for Canadian bookkeepers. If you would like me to present any other information, please drop me a line.
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