An Overview to Tax on Split Income (TOSI) Rules

June 19, 2023

The Tax on Split Income (TOSI) is a set of tax rules designed to prevent income splitting between family members to reduce overall tax liability. The aim is to ensure that high-income individuals cannot allocate their income to family members subject to lower tax rates. I came across a great flow chart from Moodys and wanted to share it. It would be strange if I just posted that picture, so ill explain a little about TOSI or tax on split income.×11.pdf

What is TOSI?

TOSI stands for Tax on Split Income. It refers to a set of rules implemented by tax authorities to prevent individuals from splitting their income with family members who may be subject to lower tax rates. Income splitting involves transferring income-generating assets or income streams to family members, such as spouses, children, or relatives, to reduce the overall tax burden.

Purpose of TOSI:

The primary purpose of TOSI is to maintain the integrity of the tax system and prevent individuals from using income-splitting strategies to exploit lower tax rates available to family members who are not actively involved in the business or investment generating the income. TOSI aims to ensure that income is taxed appropriately based on the individual’s level of involvement and contribution.
Key Provisions of TOSI:

  1. Split Income: TOSI applies to certain types of income, known as “split income.” This includes income derived from a related business, partnership, or corporation, dividends on shares owned by a related individual, and certain other income sources specified by tax authorities.
  2. Related Individuals: TOSI rules apply when income is split with related individuals, such as a spouse, common-law partner, or minor children. The rules also extend to other family members in certain circumstances.
  3. Reasonableness Test: TOSI rules employ a “reasonableness test” to determine whether the income-splitting arrangement is legitimate. The test evaluates the individual’s level of involvement, contribution, and the risks assumed in generating the income.
    TOSI rules impact high-income individuals and families who engage in income-splitting. The rules restrict the ability to allocate income to family members subject to lower tax rates without a genuine contribution to the income-generating activity. Taxpayers must carefully assess the application of TOSI rules to avoid penalties, reassessment, and potential tax liability.
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Tre Bynoe

The information contained in this report was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete. This report is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal investment advice or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Mutual funds, other securities and securities related financial planning services are offered through Qtrade Advisor, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc.

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