Funding for work performed as teaching assistant not received primarily for self-directed furthering individual’s educational studies

Tax court of Canada | Pensions | Federal and provincial pension plans | Federal pension plans

Individual received offer from University for admission to Master of Arts Program and was offered funding for first year of program in amount of $12,000.00 made up of combination of two teaching/research assistantships and graduate entrance scholarship. Trust Accounts Examination was conducted on books and records of University and employment ruling was requested to determine if amounts received by individual were insurable and pensionable. Ruling was issued which found that individual was engaged in insurable and pensionable employment for period of September 1, 2010 to April 24, 2011 in respect of amounts received to provide services as teaching assistant. Ruling further found that individual was not engaged in insurable and pensionable employment for period August 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011 in respect to amounts received by individual for scholarship amount. Individual’s appeal of ruling to Minister of National Revenue was dismissed, and ruling was upheld. Individual appealed Minister’s decision. Appeals dismissed. At outset of hearing, Minister advised that $4,000.00 of total $12,000.00 amount at issue was non-taxable scholarship amount received in his capacity as student. Dominant purpose of $8,000.00 funding amount was remuneration for services performed and not for student assistance. Funding amount paid for work performed as teaching assistant could not be considered funds received primarily for self-directed furthering individual’s educational studies. $8,000.00 funding amount was intimately connected to work as teaching assistant. There was clear nexus between that payment and work completed by individual. Although individual’s stated perception was that he was performing work as quid pro quo in respect of funding, evidence adduced did not support that impression.

Rooke v. M.N.R. (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 608, 2019 CarswellNat 688, 2019 TCC 52, 2019 CCI 52, Diane Campbell J. (T.C.C. [Employment Insurance]).

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