The 2016 proposed federal budget and introduction of changes relating to life policies issued January 1, 2017 and beyond are the focus of many articles, most of them hard to understand due to the technical jargon needed to explain these changes. The result has been a preponderance of rumors. What is all the noise about and what changes should you care about?
The proposed 2016 federal budget contains 3 provisions that affect the taxation of death benefits of existing and new life policies that are corporately owned, whether the corporation is an investment, professional or active business. They are complicated, but in reality, affect very few of these policies. The changes represent a desire by the federal government to clean up sections of the Income Tax Act (ITA) that resulted in preferred taxation i.e. they closed some loopholes. Unless your corporation owns a life policy that was previously transferred into the corporation at its fair market value (FMV) or the beneficiary of the policy is a different corporation, there is likely no change that you need to be concerned about, or better still, try to understand. If any of the two scenarios apply to you, call your insurance advisor to discuss.