Enhanced Disclosure Required For Family Trusts Beginning in 2021

In February 2018, the federal government tabled its annual budget, which contained proposals to require certain trusts to file T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Returns (T3 returns) and to provide certain information with respect to the trust’s settlor(s), trustees, beneficiaries and protectors.  On July 27, 2018, draft legislation was released which would give effect to this proposal. The changes …

Pre-Budget Tax Planning Extended

On March 8, 2021, the Liberals announced that there won’t be a Federal Budget released in March 2021 (as originally expected), and possibly not in April 2021.  At this point we are expecting a Budget at some point in Spring 2021 (more than 2 years since the last Budget) but its not clear or certain that this will happen.  The …

5 Strategies Where COVID-19 Can Reduce Taxes

There are are at least 5 strategies that can be executed under existing tax legislation to use COVID-19 to generate tax relief.  These strategies were originally posted by us 7 weeks ago on March 19th.  In particular, strategy No. 5 discussed below anticipated a reduction in the prescribed interest rate to 1% from the current rate of 2%, which will now be …

Interest in Henson Trust Not An Asset

S.A. v Metro Vancouver Housing Corp.   In the recently released case S.A. v Metro Vancouver Housing Corp.,[1] the Supreme Court of Canada (Supreme Court) had its first opportunity to consider the nature of Henson trusts.  Henson trusts are settled for the benefit of a person with disabilities who relies on publicly funded social assistance benefits.   The issue in …

Children Cannot Be Used As “Accomodating Parties” For Tax Planning

Caplan v Agence du revenue du Quebec[1] (Caplan) concerned distributions allocated from a discretionary trust to beneficiaries of a trust and then transferred to their father (also a beneficiary).  The court found that the children acted as an “accommodating party, whether as an agent or nominee, for their father.”  Moreover, they never had control over amounts paid to them by …

Henson Trusts – What Are They and Why Are They Used?

One of the ways an individual may qualify for income support under The Ontario Disability Support Program Act[1] is to qualify under the definition of a “person with a disability.”  Generally, to qualify as a person with a disability, the individual must have a substantial physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months and substantially …

Donations Made By Graduated Rate Estates

In 2016, the Department of Finance introduced the “graduated rate estate” (GRE).  Since that time, any special relief in the Income Tax Act which applied to testamentary trusts now only applies to GREs.  There are various advantages to an estate which is designated a GRE.  One of the most significant benefits relates to testamentary donations.   What is a Graduated …

A Trustee’s Duty to Disclose

Family trusts are often used as part of tax and estate planning.  When a trust has been settled, the trustees should be aware of their duty to disclose.   Trustees owe a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and there are practical reasons for why beneficiaries need information about the trust: to complete their tax …

Tax Planning – Before It’s Too Late

Over the past 4 years or so, we have experienced an unprecedented increase in the complexity of private company taxation.  With another Liberal government recently elected, which is supported by the NDP and Green Party, we can certainly expect further tax changes which will more likely than not include increasing tax rates.  Of particular concern is the rumor that both …

Income Splitting Post-Morneau’s Tax Proposals (Part I)

A prescribed rate loan strategy allows high-income earners to income split with their family members (spouses, children, grandchildren, etc.) who earn income taxed at a lower marginal tax rate or earn no income at all.   The strategy requires the high-income individual to make a loan directly (or indirectly through a trust) to one or more family members.  Commonly, a family …