For taxation years ending on or after December 31, 2021 new reporting measures will take effect for most trusts resident in Canada or those otherwise required to file tax returns in Canada. These rules are intended to help Canada Revenue Agency assess the tax liability for the trust and its beneficiaries. The new rules are also intended to increase the transparency of how Canadian trusts are used.
New Disclosure Requirements
More specifically, all express trusts resident in Canada and all non-resident trusts that have a Canadian filing requirement will now be required to file a trust return annually with few exceptions. An express trust is a trust that is created with the settlor’s express intent and is usually established with a written document. Express trusts normally include family trusts and prescribed rate loan trusts. Under these new rules, the CRA will require the name, address, date of birth, place of residence and social insurance number (or taxpayer identification number) for the settlor, trustee, beneficiary and any other person who has the ability to override trustee decisions regarding the allocation of income or capital of the trust, such as a Protector. This information must be reported on a new prescribed beneficial ownership schedule and will be required to be filed with the trust return.
The following are some of the exceptions to these new disclosure rules:
- Trusts that hold assets with a fair market value of less than $50,000 if the assets are held are cash, listed securities or certain government debt obligations.
- Trusts governed by registered plans (i.e. RRSPs. RESPs. RRIFs, DPSPs, RDSPs, and TFSAs).
- Graduated rate estates and qualified disability trusts.
- Lawyers’ general accounts.
- Trusts that qualify as non-profit organizations or registered charities.
- Trusts that have been in existence for less than three months at the end of 2021.
Any trust that has a filing requirement that does not file or does not provide these new disclosures will be subject to a penalty of $25 per day for each day of non-filing with a minimum penalty of $100 and a maximum penalty of $2,500. Gross negligence penalties of 5% of the maximum value of all properties held during the relevant year by the trust may also apply for making a false statement, omission or failure to file a trust return with a minimum penalty of $2,500.
For further information, please contact your Lipton LLP advisor.