Deferral, Waiver or Reduction
If you are unable to pay your dues, you may be eligible for a dues deferral, waiver or reduction.
Although it is a member's responsibility to pay the AMD in order to maintain the designation, the Council acknowledges that under exceptional circumstances members may experience financial hardship. Accordingly, Regulation 4-2, Dues, section 34, states, “The Registrar may waive or defer the payment by a member of the annual membership dues and any special purpose assessments levied by resolution of the Council, in extraordinary circumstances of financial hardship of a member in accordance with the policies of the Council passed from time to time.” The Registrar conducts a thorough and confidential review of requests for deferral or waiver of the AMD in accordance with the policy of the Council set out below.
Upon receipt of the notice for payment of the AMD or any special assessment, a member may ask the Registrar for a deferral or waiver of the dues or assessment by completing and filing the Annual Membership Dues (AMD), Financial Waiver, Deferral or Reduction Request Form 4-2B together with any other declaration or document as may be required by the Registrar. Note that the Registrar will not grant a deferral or waiver before the dues or special assessment become(s) payable.
Members must demonstrate their inability to pay. This may be the result of unemployment; medical grounds; humanitarian, community or religious service; family care or full-time university attendance.
Depending on the reason for the request, the Council may require an income test, which is based on published government statistics: Statistics Canada’s Low Income Lines, 2010 to 2011, Table 2: Low Income Cut-offs (1992 base) Before Tax, page 20. The data has been indexed by 5 per cent per year to account for the time lapse between the date of availability of the data and the date of the waiver or deferral request and increased by an additional 20 per cent to accommodate for a more realistic income threshold for CPA Ontario members. Since the income test criteria for eligibility is based on the member's income, the basis of the test is the LICO for a one-person household.
The equity test is based on an individual’s equity. If the member shares equity with others, he or she must meet the equity test based on his or her share of the equity.
If a member's inability to pay the AMD is expected to last for only a short time, they should request a deferral of the dues payment until a later date in the year. If granted, a member will have an extension up to December 31 of the current year to pay the dues. Criteria used to determine eligibility: Member’s projected business and employment gross earnings (excluding investments, pension, disability, EI) for current calendar year will be less than $32,364 and net equity is less than $200,000.
Financial Hardship Waiver
If a member's inability to pay may last a long time, or cannot be determined, they should request a waiver of the AMD. In some situations, a waiver for more than one year may be appropriate. A financial waiver can be granted a maximum of three times in a member’s lifetime. Criteria used to determine eligibility: member’s projected business and employment gross earnings (excluding investments, pension, disability, EI) for current calendar year will be less than $32,364 and net equity is less than $200,000.
Humanitarian, Community or Religious Service Waiver
If a member is not employed due to humanitarian or community service, or is employed full-time in a religious service (e.g., clergy), they may request a waiver of the AMD. If the member meets the criteria each year, there are no limits to how many waivers may be granted. Criteria used to determine eligibility: Members who have left full-time employment for the purposes of volunteering with a humanitarian/community or religious service must confirm their gross income from all sources is less than $32,364. An equity test is not required. Members who are employed in a religious service are not required to complete an income test. In both cases, a letter from the organization or church confirming the member’s voluntary or full-time employment in a humanitarian/community/religious service is required.
If a member is unable to sustain employment due to illness, they can request a waiver. If the member meets the criteria each year, there are no limits to how many waivers may be granted. In order to be eligible, members must provide a letter from their physician confirming the diagnosis and prognosis.
Continuous Medical Waiver
If a member’s medical condition is expected to deteriorate and he or she is not expected to return to employment, CPA Ontario can grant a continuous waiver. Once granted, a member will no longer be required to re-apply for a waiver each year or to visit his or her physician for a letter to confirm the diagnosis. Each year CPA Ontario will send a declaration to the member asking to confirm that their medical circumstances have not changed. If a member is unable to complete the form, a spouse or Power of Attorney may sign the form on their behalf.
Full-Time University Attendance in Accounting PhD Programs
If a member is enrolled full-time in an accounting PhD program at a recognized university, they may request a waiver. To be eligible, the member must be enrolled in courses at a recognized university full-time and for at least seven months during a single, 12-month period. They must provide a letter from the university confirming full-time enrolment in a PhD accounting program. If the member meets the criteria each year, there are no limits to how many waivers may be granted. If the dates of university attendance overlap with the dates marking the end of one CPA Ontario fiscal year and the beginning of the next, a dues waiver will apply only to one year's AMD.
Members may receive a 50 per cent reduction if they are attending a recognized university full-time, even if courses or program are not accounting-related. To be eligible, the member must be enrolled in courses at a recognized university full-time and for at least seven months during a single, 12-month period. They must provide a letter from the university confirming full-time enrolment. If the member meets the criteria each year, there are no limits to how many reductions may be granted. If the dates of university attendance overlap with the dates marking the end of one CPA Ontario fiscal year and the beginning of the next, a dues reduction will apply only to one year's AMD.
Parenting and Family Care Reduction
Members who leave full-time employment for the purpose of parenting or providing full-time care to an elderly or ill family member may apply for a 50 per cent dues reduction if:
- The member’s net equity is less than $200,000; and
- The member’s gross income from all sources (including employment insurance benefits, investments, etc.) is less than $32,364; and
- The member provides full-time care for a child who is six years of age or less at April 1 of the current membership year, or who is over six and suffering from a disability or illness; or
- The member provides full-time care for an elderly or ill family member who is unable to care for themselves.
In addition, if the member qualifies for a parenting or family care reduction, the member will be granted two free professional development days. Courses must be taken within the membership year that the reduction is granted.