frequently get asked questions by attendees and potential attendees regarding
the tax implications of attending CME conferences. We cannot provide tax
advice to individuals, and it is always best to consult your accountant/tax
advisor for specific questions. However, if you intend to combine a trip
with a medical conference and are planning to deduct expenses incurred,
you should be aware of specific rules Canada Revenue Agency has regarding
circumstances necessary for legitimately deducting conference expenses,
especially when travel is involved.
20 (10) and sections 67 and 67.1 of the Income Tax Act [Canada] and paragraph
9 of Article XXV of the Canada-U.S. Tax Convention deal with convention/conference
taxpayers who are carrying on a business or practising a profession
may deduct expenses incurred in attending not more than two conventions
a year provided that the conventions were:
(a) held by a business or professional organization,
(b) attended in connection with the taxpayer’s business or professional
(c) held at a location that may reasonably be regarded as consistent
with the territorial scope of the organization.
conference expenses (such as registration fees) are considered tax deductible.
When attendance at a convention is combined with a vacation trip, expenses
for transportation and accommodation should be allocated on a ‘reasonable
basis’ - Revenue Canada suggests that a reasonable basis is one
that allows the taxpayer to deduct the cost of travel (transportation
and necessary meals and accommodation en route) to the convention and
back, and the costs of accommodation while participating in the conference
(at MD Conferences meetings, CME activities include group sessions for
all attendees plus literature review and evaluation for those enrolled
in the optional CME To Go progam).
is important to keep in mind that for expenses to be legitimately claimed
as deductible, conditions (a), (b), and (c) above must all be satisfied.
In that regard, deductions can be made only for expenses paid for attending
conferences at locations consistent with the “territoral scope”
of the sponsoring organization. The term “territorial scope”
refers to the geographical “area in which the particular organization
ordinarily conducts its activities” [i.e. Canada, where the organization
is national in character; or a particular province if the sponsoring
organization is provincial, etc.]. You should therefore be aware of
what the territorial scope of the sponsoring organization(s) of any
conference you plan to attend would reasonably be considered to be.
territorial scope of MD Conferences is international in nature,
and not national, provincial, or regional.