April 19, 2021

Is mileage reimbursement taxable income?

PUBLISHED APR 19, 2021 • 3 MIN READ

The short answer is that mileage reimbursement might be taxed as income, and it also might not be. Here we will quickly go over when your reimbursements for work-related car expenses are taxed as income and when they are not. 

Is my mileage reimbursement taxed?

This depends on how your employer reimburses you, and what for. 

  1. If your employer provides a reasonable allowance per kilometre driven for business, this would not be taxed.
  2. If your employer reimburses you at a per kilometre rate that is either too high or too low compared to the automobile allowance for that year, this will be taxed - and will also require CPP contributions and EI premiums. (see more here)
  3. If your employer reimburses your specific car expenses and these are not taxed, you cannot claim these as a deduction as you have not paid any tax on those expenses.

Mileage reimbursement is (almost always) not taxed

If your employer reimburses you only for the work-related expenses that you incurred (for example, fuel, parking, and road tolls), or if they used the automobile allowance rate based on your actual business kilometres driven, this reimbursement is almost always tax-free. 

How do I know if my reimbursement was taxed?

If your payment summary from your employer shows that tax was withheld, then your reimbursement was taxed. If the payment summary doesn’t withhold any tax, then your reimbursement was tax-free. 

Can I still claim my reimbursed car expenses at tax time?

One important thing to remember - if you are reimbursed for your expenses and no tax was withheld, you can’t also claim them as a tax deduction. This is because you have no longer paid tax for those expenses - your employer has (by reimbursing you).

On the other hand, if your reimbursement had tax withheld, you can then claim those specific expenses as a deduction at tax time. 

That's it for our guide on if mileage reimbursements are taxable income in Canada. We hope we've been of assistance.

Happy tracking! 

 

Related articles


This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional advice from Driversnote. You should consider seeking independent legal, taxation, or financial advice from a professional to check how this information relates to your own circumstances. Relevant laws also change from time to time.