New Trust Tax Hits RRSPs & Foreigners

Article Excerpt

Starting in 2011, Ottawa will impose a tax on income trust distributions that will put the income trusts on an equal tax footing with conventional taxable corporations. Trusts will pay a 31.5% tax on distributions to unit holders, so your cash flow from those trusts will fall by the same amount. However, if you hold trusts outside of registered plans such as RRSPs and RRIFs, you will not see a large change in your after-tax position — even though the distributions you receive will likely drop by 31.5%. That’s because the distributions will now be taxed as dividends and Canadians will benefit from the lower tax rates provided by the combination of the dividend tax credit and the dividend gross-up (foreigners don’t quality for the favourable dividend treatment). For example, in Ontario, investors in the top tax bracket now end up with about $536 after tax on each $1,000 of trust income. Under the new tax proposals, investors holding trusts outside…

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