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Understanding the Deduction of Union and Professional Dues on Your Taxes

Navigating the complexities of tax deductions can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to understanding what qualifies and what doesn’t. One area that often raises questions is the deduction of union and professional dues. This blog aims to shed light on the legal intricacies surrounding these deductions, helping you to better understand your rights and obligations under the Income Tax Act.

Union Dues Deduction

Union dues are a common expense for many employees across various sectors. The Income Tax Act specifically addresses the deductibility of these dues under subparagraph 8(1)(i)(iv). This provision allows individuals to deduct annual dues paid to maintain membership in a trade union, as defined by section 3 of the Canada Labour Code or any provincial statute related to labor relations. However, not all components of union dues are treated equally for tax deduction purposes.

Recent amendments, particularly highlighted by Bill 32, have introduced a categorization of union dues into Category A and Category B. Category A dues relate to political activities and support for general social causes, which do not directly relate to the core activities of a trade union. Category B dues, on the other hand, are associated with collective bargaining and representation of members. It is crucial to note that only Category B dues are deductible under subparagraph 8(1)(i)(iv) of the Act. This distinction is based on the principle that Category A dues are not directly related to the ordinary operating expenses of the trade union and, therefore, do not meet the deductibility criteria.

Professional Dues Deduction

Professional dues, while similar in nature to union dues, cater to a different audience. Subparagraph 8(1)(i)(i) of the Income Tax Act allows for the deduction of annual professional membership dues necessary to maintain a professional status recognized by statute. This provision is particularly relevant for individuals in professions where statutory recognition and regulation are prerequisites for practice. The deductibility of these dues hinges on the necessity of the payment to maintain one’s professional status.

It is important to understand that not all memberships in professional organizations qualify for a deduction under this provision. The professional status must be recognized by a Canadian, provincial, or foreign statute, and the dues must be necessary to maintain this status. This means that voluntary memberships or those not directly related to maintaining a statutory professional status are not deductible.

Reporting Requirements

Employers play a significant role in the reporting of deductible dues. According to the Reporting Requirements Guide RC4120, employers are responsible for reporting the deductible union dues (Category B dues) in box 44 of the T4 slip. This ensures that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is aware of the deduction and can verify its validity. Similarly, professional associations should issue receipts for membership dues that qualify for a deduction, certifying that the dues are annual and necessary for maintaining professional status.


The deduction of union and professional dues offers a valuable tax benefit for many employees and professionals. However, the eligibility for these deductions is governed by specific criteria outlined in the Income Tax Act. Understanding these criteria and the reporting requirements is essential for accurately claiming these deductions and ensuring compliance with tax laws. As always, if you have specific questions about your situation, consulting with a tax professional is advisable to ensure you are making the most of your eligible deductions.


This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. ©2024 Shajani CPA.

Shajani CPA is a CPA Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer firm and provides Accountant, Bookkeeping, Tax Advice and Tax Planning service.

Nizam Shajani, Partner, LLM, CPA, CA, TEP, MBA

I enjoy formulating plans that help my clients meet their objectives. It's this sense of pride in service that facilitates client success which forms the culture of Shajani CPA.

Shajani Professional Accountants has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. We’re here to support you in all of your personal and business tax and other accounting needs.