Q1. I have heard that I can now choose between a 100% fully accountable Vacation Travel Assistance (VTA) and a 80% non-accountable VTA. How will this process work?

A1. You must notify your employer of your choice in writing each time. Once made, the choice will apply to you and your dependants. If you are in a post providing assistance twice a year, you can choose your option each time.

Q2. I am told there is now an 80% non-accountable payment. 80% of what?

A2. The payment is based on the cost of travel between an isolated post and its point of departure. It is calculated as follows:

(a) If your isolated post has an airport, the payment will be 80% of the return full economy class airfare between the post and the point of departure.

(b) If your isolated post does not have an airport, the payment will be 80% of the sum of the following:

(i) the return full economy class airfare between the nearest airport and the point of departure; and

(ii) the return travelling expenses between the post and the nearest airport (including lodging if that airport is over 500 km from the post).

(c) If travel by road is the only means of reaching the point of departure, the payment will be 80% of the return transportation and travelling expenses between the post and the point of departure (including lodging if the point of departure is more than 500 km from the post).

Q3. I work in Big Trout Lake. My friend told me that my maximum entitlement would be based on travel between my post and Thunder Bay. Is this correct?

A3. No, Thunder Bay is not a point of departure. The approved points of departure are: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax and St. John's.

Q4. Is the "Non-Accountable" VTA subject to statutory deductions?

A4. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has ruled that the non-accountable VTA is subject to Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan, and Employment Insurance premiums.

Q5. Is it possible to request a waiver of the requirement to withhold income tax?

A5. Yes, CCRA has agreed to relax the requirement to withhold income tax for employees living at isolated posts in the Prescribed Northern and Intermediate Zones. For a list of the locations in these zones, go to the CCRA website at www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca.

In order for the request to be granted, employees must certify that they will use the payment entirely for travel. Refer to your Compensation Advisor for further details.

Q6. I am at a location where I have access to an airport but I would prefer to use my private motor vehicle (PMV) for my trip. How will this affect my VTA entitlements?

A6. In accordance with section 2.4.7 of the Directive, if an employee can use commercial airline but chooses to travel by other means, the VTA will be limited to the 80% non-accountable payment.

Q7. To what kilometric rate am I entitled when I travel by PMV?

A7. The employee-requested rate applies, based on the province or territory in which the vehicle is licensed.

Q8. The Directive talks about a Maximum Entitlement (Appendix "I") and Reimbursable Expenses (Appendix "J"). What is the difference?

A8. The maximum entitlement is the total cost that would be incurred to travel from the post to the point of departure and back. Departments use the maximum entitlement to establish the dollar limit for reimbursable expenses. Reimbursable expenses are those costs which can be claimed depending on the specific travel circumstances.

Q9. I want to request the 80% Non-Accountable Vacation Travel Assistance payment. I understand it will be paid according to family size, and I have the following dependants: a 16 year old, a ten year-old and an infant who is 18 months old. How will my payment be calculated?

A9. To calculate the payment, the department has to take your and your dependants' ages into consideration in the same way that airlines do when determining how much to charge for a return full fare economy ticket. According to airline regulations, discounts apply to children's tickets as follows:

(a) children 12 years of age or older are considered adults and are charged full fare

(b) children from 2 to 11 years of age are charged 90% of the full fare; and

(c) children less than 2 years of age are charged 10% of the full fare.

The following example illustrates how your payment would be calculated. Note: the amount of the full fare economy ticket is hypothetical.

Full fare economy between the post and the point of departure: $1,000
For the employee: 80% of $1,000 = $800
For the 16 year-old dependant: 80% of $1,000 = $800
For the 10 year-old dependant: 80% of ($1,000 x 90%) $900 = $720
For the 18 month-old dependant: 80% of ($1,000 x 10%) $100 = $80

Total payment before any deductions: $2,400

Q10. If I choose the 100% accountable VTA, how can I determine what I can be reimbursed?

A10. When you opt for this VTA, your department will advise of your maximum entitlement. If all your actual costs are reimbursable expenses, you will be reimbursed an amount up to the dollar limit set by the maximum entitlement.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The following illustrate various travel situations. All scenarios are hypothetical, are based on one person travelling and use fictitious dollar amounts. For reasons of simplicity, the examples do not include meals and incidentals.

Example 1:

 

Post:

Moose Factory, ON (nearest airport Moosonee, ON)

Point of Departure:

Toronto, ON

Itinerary:

Moose Factory-Moosonee-Toronto-Halifax-Charlottetown and return

Actual Expenses:

 
  • Moosonee-Charlottetown ticket:

$750

  • Ground transportation from Moose Factory to Moosonee airport:

$70

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Charlottetown:

$25

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Charlottetown:

$25

  • Ground transportation from airport:

$70

  •  
    • Total actual expenses:

$940

  •  
    • Maximum entitlement for Moose Factory:

$1,050

Reimbursable Expenses:

 
  • Moosonee-Charlottetown ticket:

$750

  • Ground transportation from Moose Factory to Moosonee airport:

$70

  • Ground transportation from Moosonee airport to Moose Factory:

$70

Total:

$890

  •  
    • Reimbursement:

$890

Example 2:

 

Post:

Yellowknife, NWT

Point of Departure:

Edmonton, AB

Itinerary:

Yellowknife-Edmonton

 

5 day stopover in Edmonton

 

Edmonton-Calgary

 

Vacation in Calgary

 

Calgary-Yellowknife

Actual Expenses:

 
  • Yellowknife-Edmonton leg of the trip:

$500

  • Edmonton-Calgary leg of the trip:

$250

  • Calgary-Yellowknife leg of the trip:

$700

  • Ground transportation to airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Edmonton:

$20

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Edmonton:

$20

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Calgary:

$20

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Calgary:

$20

  • Ground transportation from airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  •  
    • Total actual expenses:

$1,560

  •  
    • Maximum entitlement for Yellowknife:

$2,000

Reimbursable Expenses:

 
  • Yellowknife-Edmonton leg of the trip:

$500

  • Calgary-Yellowknife leg of the trip:

$700

  • Ground transportation to airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Edmonton:

$20

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Edmonton:

$20

  • Ground transportation from airport in Yellowknife:

$15

Total:

$1,270

  •  
    • Reimbursement:

$1,270

Example 3:

 

Post:

Whitehorse, YT

Point of Departure:

Vancouver, BC

Itinerary:

Whitehorse-Vancouver-Hawaii and return

Actual Expenses:

 
  • Whitehorse-Hawaii ticket:

$4,000

  • Ground transportation to airport in Whitehorse:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Hawaii:

$20

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Hawaii:

$20

  • Ground transportation from airport in Whitehorse:

$15

  •  
    • Total actual expenses:

$4,070

  •  
    • Maximum entitlement for Whitehorse:

$2,500

Reimbursable Expenses:

 
  • Whitehorse-Hawaii ticket:

$4,000

  • Ground transportation to airport in Whitehorse:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport in Whitehorse:

$15

Total:

$4,030

  •  
    • Reimbursement:

$2,500

Example 4:

 

Post:

Churchill, MB

Point of Departure:

Winnipeg, MB

Itinerary:

Churchill-Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

 

Three day return cruise Fort Lauderdale-Bahamas

 

Fort Lauderdale-Churchill

Actual Expenses:

 
  • Churchill-Fort Lauderdale ticket:

$1,000

  • Ground transportation to airport in Churchill:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Fort Lauderdale:

$20

  • Accommodation in Fort Lauderdale:

$150

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to cruise ship:

$20

  • Cruise:

$800

  • Ground transportation from cruise ship to accommodation in Fort Lauderdale:

$20

  • Accommodation in Fort Lauderdale:

$150

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Fort Lauderdale:

$20

  • Ground transportation from airport in Churchill:

$15

  •  
    • Total actual expenses:

$2,210

  •  
    • Maximum entitlement for Churchill:

$2,000

Reimbursable Expenses:

 
  • Churchill-Fort Lauderdale ticket:

$1,000

  • Ground transportation to airport in Churchill:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport in Churchill:

$15

Note: The cruise ticket cost of $800 is not reimbursable because Fort Lauderdale is considered the destination.

 

Total:

$1,030

  •  
    • Reimbursement:

$1,030

Example 5:

 

Post:

Iqaluit, NU

Point of Departure:

Ottawa, ON

Itinerary:

Iqaluit-Whitehorse

 

Flight schedule requires stopover in Yellowknife

 

Yellowknife-Whitehorse

 

Whitehorse-Yellowknife

 

Flight schedule requires stopover in Yellowknife

 

Yellowknife-Iqaluit

Actual Expenses:

 
  • Iqaluit-Whitehorse ticket:

$1,700

  • Ground transportation to airport in Iqaluit:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Accommodation in Yellowknife:

$120

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Whitehorse:

$15

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Whitehorse:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Accommodation in Yellowknife:

$120

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport in Iqaluit:

$15

  •  
    • Total actual expenses:

$2,060

  •  
    • Maximum entitlement for Iqaluit:

$2,000

Reimbursable Expenses:

 
  • Iqaluit-Whitehorse ticket:

$1,700

  • Ground transportation to airport in Iqaluit:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Accommodation in Yellowknife:

$120

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport to accommodation in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Accommodation in Yellowknife:

$120

  • Ground transportation from accommodation to airport in Yellowknife:

$15

  • Ground transportation from airport in Iqaluit:

$15

   

Total:

$2,030

  •  
    • Reimbursement:

$2,000