Understanding the Tax Implications of Family Gifts and Loans

It’s not uncommon for parents to financially support their children well into their twenties and sometimes even in their thirties and forties. With the Canadian housing market being increasingly difficult to enter for first time buyers, parents are becoming more involved with helping their children afford a down payment and more. Some even assist their kids with investment money to start businesses and to help with investment instruments. And while all this may seem harmless, difficulties can arise if parents don’t understand the tax implications of family gifts and loans. Let’s take a look at what we mean.


Create Clear Intentions

If you loan your child money or present it as a gift, make sure you get the correct documentation. With a loan, you will need a promissory note, loan document, or registered mortgage on the title of their home. With a gift, you should always collect a deed of gift, or make it in writing. By not having clear documentation about your intentions, your wishes won’t be clear, and you could end up with tax implications, regardless of your intentions.


Giving Cash Gifts

There is no tax in Canada for cash gifts that you give your child. However, if the cash is intended to help them pay for a home or for any other capital like stocks or shares, there will be tax implications for you. This is to prevent people from trying to pass on assets to their children to take advantage of the child’s tax rate as opposed to paying at the higher tax bracket.


Buying Your Child A Home

If you decide to give your child money for a down payment, pay their monthly mortgage bills, or buy a home outright for them, you will have certain tax implications. For one, if you buy a home for your child the law sees it as if you sold it to them at fair market value. You will be expected to pay the capital gains, not your child.


Loaning Money

When you loan money to your child and charge them an interest rate, you will still need to declare any interest you earn on your tax return. If your child is using that money to purchase a home, and they are taking out a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Insurance, they will need to pay a surcharge since the down payment money was borrowed. So be selective on how much interest you plan to charge them.

Family loans and gifts can be very complex to navigate, so talk to us at The Beacon Group at Assante Financial Management Ltd. We can help you get over your financial hurdles and understand all the tax implications in relation to gifts and loans.