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Question Period - Amateur Athlete Trusts

Excerpt from Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

National Revenue

Amateur Athlete Trusts

Hon. Marty Deacon: Leader, my question is fairly specific and involves the matter of our amateur athlete trusts.
As you are likely aware, these trusts allowed our registered amateur athletes to put certain income, such as endorsements or prize money, in a trust of which they are the beneficiary. Any amount contributed to this trust is excluded from the income of an athlete for tax purposes and does not become taxable until the money is withdrawn or, at the latest, eight years after the last year in which they competed as a Canadian national team member.

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It’s an excellent program. There is concern that the eight-year period is too short. Amateur athletes, as we know, put their lives on hold to compete with pride to represent their country. Once their athletic career is over, they have to transform and reinvent themselves for the next chapter in their lives.

As we all know, the four-year undergraduate degree no longer shapes up strongly in today’s market. All Canadians have to spend more time obtaining education and training to reasonably expect gainful employment. Our female athletes may have to wait longer if they have a child.

Will this government consider extending the eight-year limit on those trusts or use some other mechanism such as rolling them into RRSPs to decrease the tax burden on these, our amateur athletes?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her advocacy and raising this issue. I will take it upon myself to raise it with the minister concerned and report back.

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