News of Note
2763478 Canada – Tax Court of Canada finds that not all the transactions in a value-shift scheme were infused with an estate-freezing purpose
An individual did not sell his shares of an operating company (Groupe AST) directly to a third-party purchaser. Instead he rolled his shares into a holding company (276), following which some internal transactions occurred in which the adjusted cost base of the Groupe AST shares was stepped up to fair market value - including a non-rollover drop-down of those shares to a subsidiary (9144) in exchange for high-basis common shares - with 276 realized corresponding capital gains. The Groupe AST shares were then sold to the purchaser at no additional gain.
276 then engaged in “value shift” transactions of the same general type as were struck down under GAAR in Triad Gestco and 1207192, i.e., a stock dividend of high-low preferred shares was paid on the high-ACB common shares that 276 held in 9144, thereby rendering those common shares almost worthless, and then the capital loss was realized by selling those common shares for $1 to a corporation owned by the son of 276’s shareholder.
Although, unlike Triad Gestco and 1207192, the capital gains – to be offset by the value-shift loss – were realized in internal transactions, this was not a relevant difference. In rejecting the taxpayer’s submission that there was no avoidance transaction as each transaction had an estate freezing objective, Paris J stated that although he accepted “that the global objective of the series was to effect an estate freeze,” one of the transactions was unnecessary from an estate freezing perspective.
CRA indicates that a discretionary family trust may be unable to establish that expenses reimbursed by it were for the children’s benefit
A father who is the trustee of a discretionary family trust reimburses himself out of the trust funds for itemized expense of restaurant meals of the children and issues T3 slips to them.
CRA quoted its somewhat general statements in ITTN 11 (respecting trustee payments to children), which might be construed as consistent with this practice, but then quoted as “helpful” the statement in Degrace Family Trust that “the expenditure by the trustee must clearly be made by the trustee in his or her capacity as trustee for a purpose which is unequivocally for the benefit of the beneficiary,” and also a statement in a 1999 technical interpretation that, where “the household expenditures [were] basically totaled and divided by the number of family members in order to determine the child’s share…it would be very difficult for the trustee to substantiate that the payments are unequivocally for the child’s benefit.”
CRA indicates that a Cdn competent authority agreement with the Cdn shareholder of an S Corp. extends to income of a qualified subchapter S Corp. subsidiary thereof
Art. XXIX(5) of the Canada-U.S. Treaty contemplates the Canadian-resident shareholder of an S Corp. agreeing with the Canadian competent authority that the income of the S Corp will effectively be attributed to him or her as foreign accrual property income, so that the U.S. taxes payable by that shareholder can be eligible for a foreign tax credit. CRA indicated that since the template S-Corp. agreements provide that the FAPI that is so attributed is the income of the S Corp. computed under the Code, such income will include the income of a qualified subchapter S Corp. subsidiary of the S Corp – so that there is no need for the Canadian shareholder to enter into a separate S-Corp. agreement respecting the QSSS.
CRA considers that there generally is no Treaty relief from double taxation for a Cdn-resident LLC with U.S.-source income and single Canadian-resident member unless it can elect to be an S-Corp
A single-member disregarded U.S. limited liability company (“SMLLC”), whose member is a resident of Canada, is factually resident in Canada and, thus subject to Part I tax, whereas U.S. source income (e.g., business income from a U.S. permanent establishment) would also be subject to U.S. income tax in the hands of the member, without the SMLLC being entitled to claim any foreign tax credit for such U.S. tax paid by its member.
Notwithstanding that from the U.S. perspective, the member is double-taxed on the same U.S. source income, CRA did not consider that there would be any potential redress under Art. 26(1) of the Treaty (re taxation not according with the Treaty).
If the member was a dual resident or U.S. citizen, and the LLC elected to be taxed as an S-Corp after electing to be taxable as a C-Corp, it would be subject to pass-through taxation for U.S. income tax purposes like a typical disregarded US LLC. However, the member might be able to request competent authority assistance pursuant to Art. 29(5).
Full-text translations of five French technical interpretations and one (APFF) Roundtable item that were released between January 21, 2015 and January 14, 2015, are listed and briefly described in the table below.
These (and the other translations covering the last 29 months of CRA releases) are subject to the usual (3 working weeks per month) paywall.
CRA confirms that an individual acting under a power of attorney is not engaged in commercial activity for GST/HST purposes
CRA indicated that as a power of attorney is an “office” for GST/HST purposes (which effectively is treated the same as employment for GST/HST purposes), an individual who charged for performing pursuant to a power of attorney was not engaged in a commercial activity, so that no GST/HST was exigible.
Neal Armstrong. Summary of 13 April 2017 Interpretation 162819 under ETA, s. 123(1) – office.
Last week, CRA published in final form its responses to the questions posed at the April 2017 IFA Roundtable. Although these responses have already been mostly summarized, the following table, as a convenient reminder, lists and links these questions and responses and our summaries of the responses, and provides brief descriptors.
CRA finds that a litigant receiving a court award of costs plus GST/HST is not required to report such tax
CRA considers that as court awards of costs (including any awards on a solicitor and client scale) “do not constitute consideration for a taxable supply or a service and do not form part of the consideration paid for the lawyer’s services of the winning party,” that party is not required to account for any GST or HST in computing its net tax for the reporting period in question, even where the award of such costs included a GST or HST amount.
The point, that the award does not represent compensation for services supplied by the winner to the loser (or the Court), is obviously correct. Of greater interest, this interpretation represents a restrictive and favourable interpretation of the requirement, in ETA s. 225(1) – A, that net tax of a person includes “all…amounts collected by the person…as or on account of tax.”
CRA finds that expenses incurred respecting a subsidiary unit trust are ineligible for ITCs unless incurred as management-services inputs
A parent corporation argued that it should be entitled to claim input tax credits for GST/HST on expenses incurred in relation to subsidiary unit trusts, on the basis that it was providing management services to them. In the absence of much background information on the management services, including not being provided with any management services agreements, CRA stated that “the nature of any management services provided by the Parent would have to be clarified to determine how any particular property or service could be considered to be an input into those services, before determining the extent that the property or service was acquired for the Parent’s commercial activities.”
In the absence of the consulting and other expenses in question qualifying as inputs to the Parent’s supply of management services, the Parent would not be entitled to ITCs therefor. For instance, the s. 186 rule (generally permitting a holding company to claim ITCs for GST/HST on expenses incurred in relation to its investment in a corporate subsidiary) was unavailable for investments in subsidiaries that were trusts rather than corporations.