Quebec employers encouraged to take on interns

Quebec employers encouraged to take on trainees

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Quebec employers will be eligible for an enhanced refundable tax credit if they employ and/or invest in training interns during the next 13 months. The newly released 2021 provincial budget provides a 25 per cent top-up to the existing credit for trainees enrolled between March 25, 2021 and April 30, 2022. For corporations, that equates to a 30 to 40 per cent refund of qualified expenses, while individual employers are eligible for a 15 to 20 per cent refund.

“The public health crisis has been extremely disruptive to youth entering the job market. On-the-job training is an advantageous way to complement their education and find a job,” Quebec Finance Minister Éric Girard said as he announced the temporary measure.

The tax credit applies for expenses associated with a minimum of 140 hours of on-the-job training for fulltime secondary, university or college students, apprentices in technical or vocational programs or enrollees in other recognized educational institutions. That can include students’ salaries to a maximum of $21 per hour and/or staff supervisory hours up to $35/hour for a maximum of 10 or 20 hours per week depending on the training program or up to double those hours for interns with a disability. Eligible expenses are capped at $700, $800 or $1,225 per week based on allowable supervisory hours.

Corporations and individual employers can receive the higher tax credit, of 40 per cent or 20 per cent respectively, if an intern is an immigrant, Aboriginal or disabled person or if the training occurs in one of 11 designated “remote resource regions”. Otherwise, the rate will be 30 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

The Quebec government has budgeted $14 million for the temporary enhancement — estimating that it will flow through to approximately 4,000 employers and 12,000 interns or apprentices.

“The current public health crisis has disrupted the entry of young people and new graduates into the labour market, resulting in many of them not being able to secure paid internships in the last year,” the budget document states. “The purpose of the refundable tax credit for on-the-job training periods is to support the efforts of businesses that contribute to the development of the professional competence of students and apprentices.”

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