Your browser doesn't support the features required by impress.js, so you are presented with a simplified version of this presentation.

For the best experience please use the latest Chrome, Safari or Firefox browser.

How the fuck do you pay somebody in Canada

Payroll, Part 1

This is a meandering rant

In theory, money is exchanged for goods and/or services.

In practice, money is exchanged for goods and/or services, but the government demands that the party with more power in the transaction (the person paying) hand over a fraction of that amount in most transactions to the government.

The party with more power is the employer, even though it is the employee who does the work. This is because the government (the people who control the people who most people will allow to commit violence against people, i.e. the police and military) coerces employers into doing their dirty work, in exchange for not becoming the victim of violence to which everyone else will turn a blind eye.

As I’ve always said, a protection racket is the best business model around, and that the biggest group of mobsters gets to call themselves the government.

So, that being said,

How the fuck do you pay somebody?

Let’s say I want to pay somebody seventeen dollars an hour. That’s pretty simple, right?

Wrong. There are several complications.
The process of legally paying somebody is fairly complicated, and consists of several and genuflexions before monlithic beurocracies.

If you say you’re paying somebody something, you are required to lie to them, because the Government removes a fraction of that transaction. The name given to that lie is called gross pay.

That’s right, “gross.” How appropriate.

The aforementioned genuflections are twofold:

First, there is vacation pay.

Then, there are deductions.

The concept of

Vacation Pay

acknowledges the present reality that work sucks. (By “work,” here, I mean labour; i.e., wage slavery).

After a year of employment, employees are entitled to take a vacation. Wow. How magnanimous. In the first year, in lieu of vacation, employees are entitled to a pittance above and beyond the amount they’re told they’re getting paid.

The idea here is that the prospect of freedom and leisure is equivalent to money. Gross. Fuck ancient Greek thought. Fuck “civilized” humans. Fuck everything.

The government requires that employers pay vacation pay on top of the “gross” earnings. This page sort of explains what’s going on in plain english.

The “gross” wages are the wages that we tell the employee that they earn (even though they don’t pocket it); that is, their rate in dollars per hour multiplied by the duration worked.

Vacation pay is 4% on top of the “gross” wages.

Then, there are


The deductions are:

  • Tax
  • Employment Insurance
  • Governement Pension Plan

The government also requires that the employer pay worker’s compensation insurance.

The insurance depends on the amount “paid” to the employee, before tax and other deductions.

There’s also the EI, which stands for Employment Insurance.

This is hilarious too, because you only get it if you get fired or laid off, not if you quit. In this way, the government rewards people who are dumb enough to work, but not those who are too principled to work.

Well, there’s something called CPP. This is the Canada Pension Plan.

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think it’s realistic that anyone under 30 will ever see this money. It’s a scam.

The government requires that the employer collects and surrender, or “remit” taxes on the wages paid.

The governemtn provides a tool that determines how much taxes to collect. The amount depends on how much a person earns, less a . Everybody gets a certain “freebie” amount that they get away with. In order to fill out this form, employees have to fill out another form in which they try to guess how much money they will earn elsewhere thourhgout the year.

I have never met anybody who makes more than the minimum amount, and consequently pays taxes.

This is the government of Canada’s payroll deductions calculator

After vacation pay, and deductions, there are remittances, which is the money that that goverment demands that the employer surrender in order to provide the government with a stream of motivational purchasing tokens that it uses to entive people to labour on its behalf.

The employee “pays” into the CPP and EI, even though the money comes from the employer anyway, and ultimately the customer, who is in this case the taxpayer. The employer also “pays” in to the CPP and the EI.

In the case of EI, the employer pays at a rate of 1.4 that of the employee.

Remember, the whole reason this is done is so that the government is able to deliver on a promise to give purchasing tokens to certain people every few months who provide useful services.

Services such as the nice people at the clinic who talk to me about what the fuck to do when my alcoholic father goes off on a crazy manic episode, or who talk to me because I tell them that I want to constantly kill myself.

Or, roads. That I drive on using a machine that emits subtly toxic gasses that shift the equilibrium temperature of the planet slightly warmer.

(On top of this, there are also worker’s compensation insurance premiums, but those come out of the employers pocket. If you’re smart, you’ll remember that when deciding how much to “pay” people.)

Once you have dealt with all that bullshit… Then you tell the government that you were a well-behaved member of the petit-bourgeoisie by filling out some forms and and paying them money. This sucks so much that there is an entire industry of people called “accoutnants” who, in an over-fitted example of the division of labour, do nothing but spend their time on earth running interference for people doing business under the auspices of government.

This form is called a T4. The Accountant will fill it out, but they need to know some numbers from you.

Payroll, Part 2

Let’s tighten it up a bit, with some practical instructions.

Payroll Formula

As far as I can tell, the payroll formula is:

Employee_Cheque_Amount = Gross_Pay - Deductions

Cheque Amount (Net Pay)

In a perfect world, this is the cheque that you cut. In the real world, sometimes you work backwards from the cheque amount to determine the “gross Pay” that’s reported to the governemnt. So if I tell somebody I’m paying them seventeen dollars an hour, and write them a check that works out to seventeen dollars an hour, I am

  • na nice guy
  • needing to figure out the gross amount to show on the T4 forms.

Gross Pay “how much am I getting paid?”

To first order, this is n [dollars] per m [time] times p [duration]

There are three deductions, determined by the calculator.

The deductions are:

  • Income Tax, which is a function of Gross Pay and the parameters in form TD1 and its variants.

There are two forms that employees must fill: TD1 and TD1BC.

These forms tell the employer how little or how much tax to deduct.

These forms are online. I should have included a link here, but did not. THat means it must be easy to find.

  • Employment Insurance, a function of Gross Pay and some other parameters
  • Canada Pension Plan, a function of Gross Pay and some other parameters.

And that is how the fuck you pay somebody.