Ottawa, ON — Canada’s Building Trades Union (CBTU) is calling on the federal government to support a skilled trades workforce tax deduction so skilled trades workers can be reimbursed for paying out of pocket.
The CBTU sent a letter to parliament looking for additional letters from workers. In the letter, the CBTU is calling on the federal government to follow through on their campaign commitment and implement a skilled trades workforce mobility tax deduction for out-of-pocket expenses when travelling for work. Skilled trades workers often have to relocate for work and pay for travel expenses.
The letter was sent to Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, and Seamus O’Regan, minister of labour. “In the construction industry, projects arise, are built, and completed in different locations at different times requiring a mobile skilled trades workforce to travel to where projects are happening,” according to the letter. “When expenses aren’t covered by an employer, skilled trades workers have to pay out-of-pocket for travel expenses – costs that can run into the thousands. When trying to support a family, the extra expenses make it too expensive to travel for work.”
In addition, the CBTU stated that as of the 2021 election, all three major federal parties have said they support tax fairness and a tax deduction to help Canada’s skilled trade workers. “Currently, under the Income Tax Act, salespeople, professionals, and Canadians in other industries can receive a tax deduction for the cost of their travel, meals, and accommodations. However, the same option is denied to skilled trades workers who work on job sites in different regions or provinces from their primary residence.”
According to a poll, conducted by the CBTU, 75 per cent of skilled trades workers agree that a tax deduction will give them access to more job opportunities. In addition, 75 per cent of workers say work shortages are common where they live, and 70 per cent of building trades workers have had to pay out-of-pocket work-related travel expenses.