CRA provides a numerical example showing the reallocation of safe income occurring on the payment of a high-low preferred stock dividend
The 100 common shares of Opco, having an aggregate FMV of $1,000,000 and an aggregate PUC and aggregate ACB to their holders, of $100, are held as to 25% and 25% by two unrelated holding companies (Holdco A and Holdco B) each wholly-owned by Mr. A and Mr. B and as to a further 25% and 25% by two discretionary family trusts for the families of A and B (Trust A and Trust B). The Opco common shares have an aggregate safe income of $400,000 ($100,000 to each shareholder).
Opco now pays a $400 stock dividend (valued at $400,000) of high-low preferred shares so that each shareholder receives 100 preferred shares with a PUC of $100 and a redemption amount of $100,000.
Consequences included the following:
- By virtue of s. 55(2.3)(b), Opco's safe income that contributed to the capital gain on the 25 common shares of the capital stock of Opco held respectively by Holdco A and Holdco B would be reduced by $100,000.
- By virtue of s. 52(3)(a)(ii), the 100 high-low preferred shares of each of Holdco A and B (with a FMV of $100,000) will have an ACB of $100,000.
- Each of Holdco’s 25 common shares (with an FMV of $150,000) will have an ACB of $25 and those 25 shares no longer have any safe income.
- By virtue of s. 52(3), the safe income of $100,000 contributing to the capital gain on the 25 common shares of the capital stock of Opco held respectively by Holdco A and Holdco B before the payment of the stock dividend is now reflected in the ACB of the 100 high-low preferred shares received as a stock dividend by Holdco A and Holdco B.
- As for Trust A and Trust B, immediately after the stock dividend, each of them will hold 100 high-low preferred shares having a redemption amount of $100,000 and, by virtue of s. 52(3)(a)(i) and para. (c) of s. 248(1) –amount, an ACB of $100.
- Opco’s safe income contributing to the capital gain on the 25 common shares held by Trust A and Trust B, respectively, will be reduced by only $100, being the stock dividend received by Trust A and Trust B. However, that safe income amount will be split between the two classes of shares held by Trust A and Trust B based on the unrealized gain on each class – and, as noted, there now is significant unrealized gain on the preferred shares.