Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CRA.
Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ARC.
Principal Issues: Final answer to question 15 (Restrictive Covenants) of the June 2014 CRA STEP Roundtable.
Position: See response.
Reasons: Wording of paragraph 56.4(7)(d).
2014 STEP CANADA ROUNDTABLE: June 16 -17, 2014
QUESTION 15. Restrictive Covenants
In very general terms, the rules concerning restrictive covenants are divided into two categories, the first being where there is no consideration for the restrictive covenant, and the second being where there is consideration. The rules applicable to situations where there is no consideration are generally more widely applicable. However, a restrictive covenant is normally structured as a contract, and a contract requires that consideration be given by the parties. Accordingly, it would be common in drafting a restrictive covenant to state that the consideration is the sum of $1 and other valuable consideration etc. In these circumstances, does the fact that a contract of a restrictive covenant stipulates the amount of $1 mean that there is consideration, such that the elections, provided under subsection 56.4(7) are inapplicable? Is CRA prepared to accept that a nominal sum, merely to constitute a contract which is legally binding, does not constitute proceeds allocated to the restrictive covenant for this purpose?
While we understand that a nominal amount of consideration may be given by the parties in a contract relating to a restrictive covenant to ensure that the contract is legally binding, it is the CRA's view that this would still constitute an amount of proceeds received or receivable by the particular party for granting the RC. As such, the exceptions set out in subsections 56.4(6) and (7) could not apply because the respective conditions in paragraph 56.4(6)(e) and paragraph 56.4(7)(d) would not technically be met. In such cases, the amount of proceeds (or any additional amount deemed by paragraph 68(c)) received or receivable by the taxpayer for the RC would be taxable as ordinary income under subsection 56.4(2) unless one of the three exceptions in subsection 56.4(3) otherwise applies.
As such, taxpayers seeking relief in these circumstances may want to contact the Department of Finance Canada to outline their concerns on this issue.
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