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.
Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the Department.
Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle du ministère.
Investment in golf club as a qualified investment for an RRSP
Routine reply on 4900(6) and (12) with added caution that golf club probably not carrying on active business.
July 21, 1997
Re: Golf Club Share as Qualified Investment for Registered Retirement Savings Plan ("RRSP")
This is in reply to your facsimile transmission of July 8, 1997, to the Registered Plans Division which has been forwarded to us for reply. You ask whether your golf club share is a qualified investment for your RRSP.
Although the Department will provide technical interpretations of specific provisions of the Income Tax Act (the "Act"), we are unable to provide them in the context of a completed or proposed transaction. Questions with respect to completed transactions should be addressed to your local tax services office. Technical interpretations relating to proposed transactions are available by applying for an advance income tax ruling in accordance with the guidelines in Information Circular 70-6R3. We can, however, provide the following general comments which we trust will assist you.
A "qualified investment" for an RRSP is a term defined in subsection 146(1) of the Act. Generally an RRSP can invest in shares of a corporation if the shares are listed on a prescribed stock exchange in Canada or in a country other than Canada, or if the corporation is a "public corporation" as defined in the Act - see the current version of Interpretation Bulletin IT-391 for more information on public corporation status. (Copies of interpretation bulletins are available from your local tax services office or at the Revenue Canada internet site http://www.rc.gc.ca).
When the shares of a corporation do not qualify as investments for an RRSP as noted above, they may qualify under subsection 4900(6) of the Regulations if they are shares of an "eligible corporation" and the annuitant of the RRSP is not a "designated shareholder" of that company. These latter two terms are defined and the relevant provisions are contained in sections 4901 through 5103 of the Income Tax Regulations (the "Regulations").
In brief, an "eligible corporation" is generally a taxable Canadian corporation which uses substantially all (90% or more) of its property in a "qualifying active business". Specifically excluded from this definition are securities dealers, financial institutions, corporations whose principal business is the lending of money or the purchasing of debt, and non-resident controlled corporations.
A "qualifying active business" is also a defined term which generally includes any business which is carried on in Canada except one where the principal purpose is to earn income from property in the form of interest, dividends, rent, royalties or gains from dispositions of property. A qualifying business may, however, include a business of leasing property other than real property, and a retail or wholesale business.
An entity, such as a golf club, which is incorporated for purposes other than carrying on a trade or business may not meet the above requirements.
With respect to property acquired by the RRSP after November 29, 1994, a "designated shareholder" of a corporation is any RRSP annuitant who at the time
(a)is, or is related to, generally, a person who owns, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the issued shares of any class of shares of the corporation, unless the cost amount of all the shares (basically the shares of the corporation and of any related corporations owned directly or indirectly by the RRSP annuitant or the related person, and any such shares the RRSP annuitant or related person has a right to acquire) is, in total, less than $25,000. For this purpose, an annuitant of an RRSP is deemed to own the shares owned by the RRSP (see paragraph (b) of the definition of "specified shareholder" in subsection 248(1) of the Act which is applicable by virtue of subparagraph (a)(ii) of the definition of "designated shareholder" in subsection 4901(2) of the Regulations);
(b)is or is related to a member of a partnership that controls the corporation in any manner;
(c)is or is related to a beneficiary under a trust that controls the corporation in any manner;
(d)is or is related to an employee of the corporation where the employees control the corporation, except where the corporation is controlled by one person or a related group of persons; or
(e)does not deal at arm's length with the corporation.
Note that the conditions respecting both the "eligible corporation" and the "designated shareholder" must be satisfied at the time the RRSP acquires the shares and thereafter. Should the annuitant become a "designated shareholder" of the corporation or the corporation fail to be an "eligible corporation" at a later date, the shares will no longer qualify under subsection 4900(6) of the Regulations.
Subsection 4900(12) of the Regulations (applicable after December 2, 1992) was introduced to allow a share of the capital stock of a "small business corporation" to be a qualified investment for an RRSP, provided that the RRSP annuitant is not a "connected shareholder" of the corporation immediately after the acquisition of the share. The corporation must be a "small business corporation" at the time the share is acquired by the RRSP or at the end of the taxation year of the corporation ending before the time the share is acquired. For this purpose, a "small business corporation" is a Canadian corporation that is not directly or indirectly controlled by one or more non-residents. In addition, to qualify as a "small business corporation" all or substantially all (90% or more) of the fair market value of the corporation's assets must be attributable to assets that were:
a) used principally (50% of the time or more) in an active business carried on primarily in Canada by the particular corporation or by a corporation related to it,
b)shares or indebtedness of other small business corporations which were connected with the particular corporation, or
c)assets described in a and b above.
For the purposes of these requirements an "active business" is generally defined as any business carried on by a taxpayer other than a "specified investment business" or a "personal services business". A "specified investment business" is defined as a business the principal purpose of which is to derive income from property including such income as interest, dividends, rent and royalties. Gains from the disposition of real property may or may not be from an active business. For further information concerning the expressions "active business", "specified investment business" and "personal services business" please refer to the current version of IT-73 which is available from your local tax services office. As noted above with respect to the "eligible corporation" rules, where the corporation is incorporated for purposes other than carrying on a trade or business, it is unlikely to meet the requirement that its assets are used principally in an active business.
With respect to property acquired by an RRSP after November 29, 1994, a "connected shareholder" of a corporation is, generally, a person who directly or indirectly holds 10% or more of the shares of any class of shares of the corporation or of any corporations related to the corporation. Furthermore, through the application of paragraphs (a) through (e) of the definition of "specified shareholder" in subsection 248(1) of the Act and the application of subsection 4901(2.2) of the Regulations, an annuitant of an RRSP is considered to own all the shares owned by the RRSP or any person not dealing at arm's length with the annuitant, a proportion of any shares owned by certain trusts and partnerships, and any share the RRSP annuitant or related person has a right to acquire. However, an annuitant will not be a "connected shareholder" if he or she deals at arm's length with the corporation and the cost amount of all the shares is, in total, less than $25,000.
Note that the conditions respecting the "small business corporation" must be satisfied only once, that being at the time the shares are acquired by the RRSP or at the end of the taxation year of the corporation ending before the time the share is acquired. Similarly, the conditions respecting the "connected shareholder" must be satisfied only once, that being at the time immediately after the shares are acquired by the RRSP. (This means that for the $25,000 and 10% tests discussed in the previous paragraph, the shares acquired by the RRSP are included.) Should the corporation fail to remain a "small business corporation" or the annuitant become a "connected shareholder" at a later time the shares will not consequently become non-qualified investments for the RRSP. In accordance with subsection 4900(13) of the Regulations a share of a "small business corporation" will become non-qualified, however, if:
(i) an individual provides services to or for, acquires goods from, or is provided services by, the issuer of the share or a person related to the issuer;
(ii) an amount is received by the RRSP in respect of the share; and
(iii) the amount can reasonably be considered to be
(A) on account of or in lieu or in satisfaction of, payment for the services to or for the issuer or the person related to the issuer, or
(B) in respect of the acquisition of the goods from, or services provided by, the issuer or the person related to the issuer.
Due to the detail and complexity of the Regulations regarding these issues, the foregoing comments are meant only to provide an overview of the relevant provisions and under no circumstances should they be considered either comprehensive or all inclusive.
The above comments are an expression of opinion only and do not bind the Department. We trust, however, that they will be of assistance to you.
Financial Industries Division
Income Tax Rulings and
Policy and Legislation Branch
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