University of Saskatchewan

Financial Services Division (FSD)

Guidelines & Procedures

Guidelines for Vehicle Use Authorization and Related Taxable Benefits 

Purpose

To ensure that University owned/leased vehicles and Central Vehicle Agency (CVA) rental vehicles are operated by authorized and qualified individuals, applicable reports are completed, and appropriate taxable benefits/charges are assessed.

Policy

Only authorized and qualified individuals may operate University owned/leased vehicles and Central Vehicle Agency (CVA) rental vehicles. This policy does not apply to rental vehicles other than CVA vehicles. University vehicles and CVA vehicles must remain on University premises outside of normal business hours unless the individual has been asked and agreed to Take Home Privileges for the vehicle. All personal mileage must be reported.

Individuals with Take Home Privileges must ensure that the vehicle remains on University premises while the employee is on vacation or away on any absence for an extended period of time.

Passengers are allowed only if traveling on approved University business as defined in the guidelines.

Authorization

Vehicles are to be driven primarily by University employees, however it is recognized that departments may require graduate students and/or other students to drive vehicles on occasion. Insurance Services may authorize use by a non-employee in certain circumstances, where warranted, provided that the "non-employee" meets specific standards. Departments must contact Insurance Services for authorization of non-employee use.

Deans/Departments Heads are required to apply the following screening process* for all drivers prior to authorization.

Upon hire or prior to use of a vehicle, and thereafter, on an annual basis the driver must provide:

Generally, Saskatchewan drivers will be able to demonstrate satisfactory proof by providing a copy of their Saskatchewan driver's license including the current fee portion and by verifying that they have had three consecutive years of driving experience immediately prior to the date of authorization. Drivers will generally meet the accident/conviction criteria if their Saskatchewan driver's license fee is $100 or less.

* Insurance Services, in consultation with the University's insurer, may authorize drivers who do not meet the above criteria upon application by the department. Please contact Insurance Services for further information.

Specific qualifications for a given position will be determined by individual Departments.

Out-of-Province drivers must provide a driver's history report or "abstract", which is available from their insurer or motor vehicle bureau. Private insurance jurisdictions routinely provide abstracts as a condition precedent to insurance.

The University cannot risk a situation where an accident occurs, resulting in severe injuries, and it is found that the driver had a substandard record (i.e. previous impaired or dangerous driving convictions).

If a vehicle will be operated outside of Saskatchewan for a period in excess of 15 consecutive days, Insurance Services must be contacted prior to such use. The operator is required to follow the applicable laws in the other jurisdiction.

Refer to "Recording and Reporting Requirements" below for further responsibilities of employees and Deans/Department Heads.

An "Application for Authorization to Operate University Owned/Leased or CVA Vehicles" form must be completed in all situations, for both insurance and taxation purposes, and retained on file by the department for a period of 7 years after the authorization is no longer applicable. The authorization for use is associated with the position. Authorization for use is automatically withdrawn when the employee leaves the position. Should the employee assume another position, he/she is required to re-apply for authorization to operate a vehicle.

Guidelines

Approved University Business

For the purposes of this policy, a person is deemed to be traveling on University business if the travel relates directly to duties or activities performed on behalf of the University and that fall within the scope of their appointment (e.g. employee, officer, or volunteer). For the purposes of this policy, students are deemed to be traveling on University business if the travel relates to taking part in any activity that is considered to be part of regular or extraordinary studies or recreational activities connected with the University.

For insurance purposes, exceptions to the above may be approved by Insurance Services.

Categories of Vehicles

The vehicles that are assigned to an employee will fall into one of two categories:

Vehicles Driven for Solely University Purposes

Vehicles in this category are not available for personal use and thus, no taxable benefit is assessed to the driver. These vehicles remain on University premises outside of business hours.

Also, if the following circumstances occur irregularly and infrequently, i.e. are unscheduled, the trip home is not considered personal travel:

Take Home Privileges

In certain situations, the employee will be asked by their Dean/Department Head/ Head of Administrative Unit to accept Take Home Privileges. The following factors may result in a take home request:

The Application for Authorization to Operate University Owned/Leased or CVA Vehicles form will identify the period of time the Take Home Privilege is in effect.

Take Home Privileges are associated with an individual's position. This privilege is automatically withdrawn when the employee leaves the position. Should the employee assume another position, where driving a vehicle is part of the job, he/she may or may not continue with Take Home Privileges. Take Home Privileges can be canceled at any time by the employer.

If the employee accepts Take Home Privileges, they are allowed to drive the vehicle from their residence to work and back. The distance between an employee's residence and their work is personal kilometers. No other personal kilometers are to be driven.

All employees will be charged a fee for personal kilometers driven.  For University owned/leased vehicles, the fee that will be charged is the University's Personal Vehicle use rate. For the current University rate, refer to the Financial Services Division website.   For CVA vehicles, the fee that will be charged is the Saskatchewan Property Management Corporation (SPMC) rate. For the current SPMC rate, please contact Purchasing Services at 966-6704.

Personal kilometers must be reported each month. The fee charged will be deducted from the employee's next salary payment. Alternatively, if an employee will have the use of a vehicle for the entire calendar year, an estimate of the employee's annual personal mileage must be provided by the department to Payroll by January 9th each year. The amount withheld will be adjusted annually based on the actual personal kilometers driven.

Personal use of an employer vehicle is subject to a taxable benefit under the Canadian Income Tax Act. Any amounts reimbursed to the University will be applied against the taxable benefit. If the reimbursement does not cover the taxable benefit, any remaining taxable benefit will be added to the employee's T4.

Employees who have been asked to and agree to the Take Home Privilege option may review the Fact Sheet - Taxable Benefit (use of employer owned/leased vehicles) to assist the employee in estimating the effect that the percentage of personal kilometers driven to total kilometers driven has on the calculation of the taxable benefit. Once this is understood, employees can then decide if they wish to agree to this option.

Recording and Reporting Requirements

Failure to comply with this policy may be grounds for discipline, up to and including dismissal, under the terms of the applicable collective agreements.

Employees Responsibilities

All employees must advise the Dean/Department Head, immediately, in writing, regarding any change in their driver license status or their driving history that affects their qualifications to operate a vehicle.

University Owned/Leased Vehicles

All employees must obtain authorization prior to operating a University Owned/Leased vehicle.

For employees with Take Home Privileges, the University of Saskatchewan Vehicle Distance Report must be submitted monthly. The report must be approved by the employee's Dean/Department Head, etc. and forwarded to Payroll by the 10th working day of the following month. Employees must notify Payroll when their place of residence changes and ask that their taxable benefit be adjusted accordingly.

CVA Vehicles

All employees must obtain authorization prior to operating a CVA vehicle.

The CVA Vehicle Distance Report must be submitted monthly. To obtain a copy of the CVA Vehicle Distance report, contact Purchasing Services at 966-6704.  The report must be authorized by the employee's Dean/Department Head and forwarded to Purchasing Services by the 10th working day of the following month. (Purchasing Services will copy Payroll if personal kilometers have been driven.) Employees must notify Payroll when their place of residence changes and ask that their taxable benefit be adjusted accordingly.

Purchasing Services will complete the reporting requirements to CVA.

Deans/Department Heads Responsibilities

Deans/Department Heads must ensure that all job postings that list ‘operating a vehicle' as a responsibility, include, as a required qualification, that the applicant must possess and maintain a valid driver's license and must have an acceptable driving history according to University guidelines. The Dean/Department Head of the employee must ensure that the employee is qualified to operate a vehicle. (refer to "Authorization" section of this guideline)

Deans/Department Heads must use the screening process (refer to "Authorization" section of this guideline) and/or contact Insurance Services, as required, to ensure that all drivers meet all of the required criteria prior to signing the Application form that authorizes the employee to operate a vehicle.

A copy of the employee's license must be obtained upon hire or prior to use, and thereafter, annually on May 1 for continuing employees, and filed in the department.

All Dean/Department Heads must ensure that the employees are made aware of the Vehicle Use Authorization and Related Taxable Benefits Policy and this guideline.

It is the University's policy that all vehicles must be left on the University's premises when the employee is not using the vehicle, for example, during the employee's vacations. The days for which the vehicle was not available should be identified on the Vehicle Distance Report. The Dean/Department Head must ensure the keys were not available to the individual during this time and that the vehicle remained on the University premises.

If an employee notifies the Dean/Department Head/Director that the employee's drivers license status or driving history has changed, the Dean/Department Head/Director must apply the screening process to ensure that the driver is still qualified to operate a University owned/leased vehicle.

The Dean/Department Head must review and authorize the monthly Vehicle Distance Report. Deans/Department Heads are responsible for ensuring vehicle usage is reasonable. For example, if the Dean/Department Head is aware that the vehicle is being driven home by the employee on a regular basis, then personal kilometers must be reported on the Vehicle Distance Report.

Taxable Benefits

Introduction

Employees with Take Home Privileges may be subject to a taxable benefit that will be reported on their T4.

All employees must maintain a detailed record (see the Vehicle Distance Report for personal kilometers driven - or the CVA Vehicle Distance Report). It is important that detailed business points of call are kept to substantiate business kilometers driven, particularly, when business travel is done on weekends and holidays. If Canada Customs and Revenue Agency ["CCRA"] audits the personal use of the vehicle, it will be the employee's responsibility to justify the personal kilometers reported. If they cannot be justified, CCRA may assess the employee according to their findings.

Personal Use

Personal kilometers are all kilometers driven by employees using University owned/leased vehicles or CVA vehicles for non-university business, including travel between home and the work place, even though the employee may have to return to work after regular duty hours.

If employees drive directly from their residence to a project or work site, other than their regular place of business, then the kilometers are not considered personal. As well, if employees return directly home from a project or work site, without reporting to their regular place of business, then the kilometers are not considered personal.

For employees with Take Home Privileges who drive home from their regular place of business and leave from home to a different work site in the morning, the trip home the night before would be personal, however, the trip to the work site the next morning would not be personal.

When an individual incurs personal use mileage on a University owned/leased or CVA vehicle, a taxable benefit may result. If the employee still has questions after they have reviewed the Fact Sheet - Taxable Benefit (use of employer owned/leased vehicle), he/she may contact Payroll [8321].

Forms/Reports

Fact Sheet: Taxable Benefit (use of employer owned/leased vehicle)

The CVA Vehicle Distance Report - Contact Purchasing Services at 966-6704

VersionsDocument NameHelp
Application for Authorization to Operate University Owned/Leased or CVA Vehicles Form  
University Vehicle Distance Report