Section 85(1)

Transferring Assets to a Corporation on a Tax-Deferred Basis

Section 85(1)

Transferring Assets to a Corporation on a Tax-Deferred Basis

Section 85 permits a tax free rollover of property to a corporation but only as long as the transferor accepts some shares as part of the consideration received for the transfer. The purpose of subsection 85(1) is to allow a taxpayer to defer gains that are accrued on assets transferred to a Canadian corp.

When is Section 85(1) Used?
  1. To incorporate a proprietorship, trust, partnerships, investments
  2. To transfer assets from one company to another company
    1. Parent transfers asset to a sub
    2. During an AOC to use the streaming rules; you transfer a business assets to the newly acquired company’s assets to generate similar profits (i.e. inventory, equipment)
  3. Tax planning purposes – to set up a Holding Company for estate freezes. Refer to our estate freeze notes for details on freezes

    Without the s85(1) rollover election; all assets are deemed to be sold at FMV and hence may result in big tax payable!
Section 85(1) – The Rules you must follow!
  1. Elected price must be between UCC (for depreciable properties) /ACB (for non-depreciable properties) and FMV
    • i.e. if FMV is lower must select at FMV.
  2. FMV in = FMV out all the times
    • e. the consideration received (share and non-share consideration) should be equal to the FMV of the assets given up.  If that’s not the case then there will be tax consequences.
  3. Boot (non-cash consideration) should not be greater than the elected amount
    • If it is more than elected amount than there will be tax consequences.
  4. The transferee must be a taxable Canadian Corporation
    • The transferor can be a resident or nonresident individual, trust, corporation or a partnership
  5. Consideration received by the transferor must include at least 1 share
  6. Assets with Terminal loss/capital losses should not be transferred at 85(1) because you don’t have any gain to trigger and also they are deemed superficial losses and are denied. Therefore transfer outside of S.85(1) and taking back non-share consideration
    • Capital losses – the transferee can claim it only they ultimately dispose of the property
    • Terminal Losses – stay with the transferor, and transferor can claim CCA on it
  7. Elect at least $1 for assets (i.e. for goodwill elect at $1 even if ABC is $0)
  8. Jointly election is required by the corporation and the taxpayer
    • The deadline to file an election is the earliest tax return due date of transferee or transferor
Which properties can be transferred using S.85(1)?

The following are allowed to be transferred under S.85(1):

  1. Capital Properties (including A/R)
  2. Eligible Capital Properties
  3. Inventory
  4. Resource Properties
Which properties are not eligible to be transferred using S.85(1)?

The following are not allowed to be transferred under S.85(1)

  1. Cash
  2. Prepaids
  3. Real property (i.e. land and buildings) held as inventory
Assets that are not ideal to be transferred using s85 rollover:

1.  Accounts Receivable should not be transferred under S.85(1), section 22 is better option

Accounts Receivable (use s22 rather than s85)

• If there is a loss on the AR; the transferor gets a business loss
• The transferee can take a reserve
• 90% of assets of business must be transferred to be eligible for s22
• If AR is transferred with s85, AR treated like non-depreciable asset with capital losses (i.e. superficial loss)

2.  Individuals should not transfer shares that qualify for the QSBC deduction into a corporation since corporations are not eligible for the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE)

3.  Depreciable assets with terminal loss: terminal losses denied on transfer (better to sell for boot outside s85 and reduce taxes)

4.  Non-depreciable assets (land, securities) with accrued capital losses: capital losses are superficial losses and denied (better to transfer outside of s85 and trigger losses to use to reduce taxes)

Integration with other topics/Tax planning
  • Can elect higher than cost to trigger capital gains to use up losses and QSBC credit
  • Estate Freezes (Please refer to our estate freeze notes)
  • Crystallising QSBC exemption (Refer to Estate Free & emigrating from Canada Notes for details)

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