October 11, 2017 1:50 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 8:16 pm

Trudeau: ‘Let me be blunt. We are not going to tax anyone’s employee discounts’

WATCH ABOVE: Backlash over Canada Revenue Agency's move to tax employee discounts

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to be clear: the federal government is not going to tax employee discounts.

He said as much in a tweet issued on Wednesday.

His comments came after a spokesman for National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said the government will pull the new wording at the heart of the debate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.

John Power says the government is planning to hold an internal review on the wording change, which will be followed by a consultation on the issue with industry groups.

READ MORE: Outcry over potential tax on employee discounts

John Power says the government is planning to hold an internal review on the wording change, which will be followed by a consultation on the issue with industry groups.


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Power says the original decision to change the wording in the document was made by the CRA without the minister’s approval.

“This document was not approved by the Minister and we are deeply disappointed that the Agency posted something that has been misinterpreted like this,” said Power in an email to Global News.

“The Agency issued a guidance document that does not reflect our Government’s intentions and the Minister of National Revenue has instructed officials to clarify the wording.”

READ MORE: Liberals will change tax plan after consultations, Bill Morneau says, amid major backlash

The decision to restore the old wording comes after strong objections from business associations that warned the change would lead to new taxes on retail workers, many of whom earn modest wages.

The industry groups also say the new wording would have created significant administrative burdens for employers, who would be required to track employee benefits.

– With files from Global News

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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