Postdoc benefits / taxes

Current benefits and options, future plans for advocacy. 



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Postdoc benefits / taxes

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 Useful Links

See here for an update on taxes.  For the 2007 tax year, no changes have taken place, due to a lack of response from the Canadian Revenue Agency.  More information will follow - to keep up to date, please visit the U of Toronto Postdoctoral Association website.

Benefits may vary by institute, but for the UHN, there are some pages maintained by the CREdiT office that should be linked here.

 While not necessarily a benefit, taxes are a big issue for postdocs, as for everyone.  Here is some information from a former Postdoc Association President:

Tax information

Hi All!

With a concerted effort between Joyce Wilson and myself, we are ready to revise the tax situation with regards to different pay
classifications.  I am confident enough in the information to use it
for my own tax purposes.  This should not be viewed, however, as
advise from a professional accountant.

Income Classifications

04- research grant -- this can be used for post-docs that are paid by
their bosses; others may also use it unless the income is classified
as a fellowship by the granting agency.  It is considered as earned
income, usuable for RSP contributions (see below).  You may deduct any "research related expenses" for which you have NOT BEEN REIMBURSED including office supplies, work travel expenses, as well as fraction of your rent on your apartment used for "research" (I wouldn't try to push more than 20%), etc.  Just attach a list and have receipts ready in case.

05- fellowship -- this is specifically for money received for
educational or training purposes.  The first $500 of this is tax-free
and should be subtracted before putting in it on the form.  There is
a $3000 exeption but it appears to require enrolment in a program, which is not likely applicable to post-docs.   No expenses can be deducted.

01- other income -- this is the catch-all category that is also the
default status.  I know that you can claim this as "fellowship", and
you possibly can claim it as "research grant".  But for simplification, we should probably try to eliminate your pay being categorized as such. 

Essentially, I would try to get

1) At least $500 dollars listed as 05 - fellowship for the tax-free

2) Some money considered 04 - research grant in order to use the
expenses deduction

3) More money considered 04- research grant if you want to put money away in savings. Since your available RSP contributions for 2004 depend on your income from 2003, it would be wise to look ahead and get a majority of income listed as "04"


Standard Or Individual Deductions

I was mistaken in saying at the meeting that an individual dedution
was not available on fellowship income.   It is.

RRSP contributions

These are "registered retirement savings plans".  They allow you to
put money away tax-deferred.   This is to say, that you will only pay
tax on this money when you retire, and are likely to have a fixed
income.   It is a good way of reducing your tax load right now.
Other RSP such as home ownership (RHOSP) and a child's education
(RESP) exist but I haven't researched them. The government calculates the maximum amount that you are able to put
tax-deferred into an RRSP from the previous year's income tax
statement.  You may call to find out your maximum. 1-800-959-8281 I have contradictory anecdotes about people on work permits being able to purchase RRSPs.  I would like a definitive answer if you can get me one.  Both Joyce and I looked for quite a while.