Canada: Le Processus D'adoption De L'IM Est Enclenché

Last Updated: July 20 2018
Article by Alain Ranger

Alain Ranger pratique depuis plus de 30 ans en droit fiscal, plus spécialement en droit fiscal lié au droit des sociétés et au droit des affaires. Au cours des années, Alain a développé une expertise reconnue dans une variété de domaines dont les fusions et acquisitions, les transactions transfrontalières, les réorganisations d'entreprises, les investissements étrangers, les financements structurés et la fiscalité des sociétés.

Le 28 mai dernier, le ministre des Finances du Canada a déposé à la Chambre des communes un avis de motion de voies et moyens (l'« Avis ») officialisant ainsi l'intention du Canada de présenter un projet de loi pour mettre en oeuvre les propositions retenues de la Convention multilatérale pour la mise en Suvre des mesures relatives aux conventions fiscales pour prévenir l'érosion de la base d'imposition et le transfert de bénéfices (l'« IM »). L'Avis a été adopté par les parlementaires le 21 juin et le projet de loi a ainsi franchi l'étape de la première lecture à la Chambre des communes.

Pour fins de rappel, le Canada était l'un des signataires de l'IM le 7 juin 2017 et il avait alors annoncé son intention d'adopter les normes minimales proposées par l'OCDE dans le cadre des propositions BEPS ainsi que l'arbitrage obligatoire lié aux différends dans les conventions fiscales. L'Avis prévoit donc l'adoption de ces normes minimales, ainsi que d'autres mesures à l'égard desquelles le Canada avait initialement réservé sa position.

Parmi celles-ci, il y en a deux qui sont d'un intérêt particulier :

1 – IM – Article 8, paragraphe 1 : Transactions relatives au transfert de dividendes

La plupart des conventions fiscales signées par le Canada prévoient une réduction du taux domestique de retenue à la source sur les dividendes de 25% à 5% lorsque le bénéficiaire effectif du dividende est une société assujettie à l'impôt sur les sociétés dans la juridiction cocontractante qui contrôle directement ou indirectement au moins 10 % des droits de vote (et dans certains cas du capital) de la société canadienne qui paie le dividende. L'analyse du respect du test de détention des 10% se fait au moment du paiement du dividende.

En adoptant la restriction contenue au paragraphe 1 de l'article 8 de l'IM, le Canada entend n'accorder le taux réduit de 5% que si les actions conférant les droits de vote (et le capital le cas échéant) d'au moins 10% sont détenues tout au long d'une période de 365 jours qui inclut le jour du paiement du dividende. Aux fins du calcul de cette période de détention, il ne sera cependant pas tenu compte des changements de détention résultant directement d'une réorganisation (e.g. une fusion ou une scission) de la société qui détient les actions ou de la société canadienne qui paie le dividende.

2 – IM – Article 9, paragraphe 1 : Gains en capital tirés de l'aliénation d'actions, de droits ou de participations dans des entités tirant leur valeur principalement de biens immobiliers

La législation domestique canadienne prévoit un test étendu sur cinq années pour déterminer de l'imposition d'un gain en capital réalisé lors de la disposition d'actions ou autres droits de participation dans des entités dont la valeur est ou a été principalement tirée de biens immobiliers au Canada. Ainsi, dans la mesure où à un moment quelconque dans cette période de 60 mois qui se termine à la date de la disposition d'une action, plus de 50% de la valeur de celle-ci est dérivée directement ou indirectement d'un bien immeuble situé au Canada, le gain en capital réalisé lors de la disposition est imposable au Canada.

Par voie de comparaison, la majorité des conventions fiscales conclues par le Canada ne comportent pas de test rétrospectif. En effet, l'analyse du test de valeur se fait généralement au moment de la disposition.

Avec le paragraphe 1 de l'article 9 de l'IM, la Canada se dote d'un regard rétroactif d'une année, i.e. le Canada se réserve le droit d'imposer le gain en capital si le seuil de valeur de plus de 50% est atteint à un moment donné au cours des 365 jours qui précèdent l'aliénation.

L'Avis doit maintenant continuer son cheminement législatif et être adopté par la Chambre des communes et par le Sénat avant de recevoir la sanction royale. Un avis doit par la suite être envoyé à l'OCDE confirmant la ratification de l'IM par le Canada et l'IM entrera alors en vigueur le premier jour du mois qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois à compter de la date de l'avis à l'OCDE. Par exemple, si l'avis est donné le 1er octobre 2018, l'IM entrera en vigueur le 1er février 2019.

Les dispositions de l'IM qui concernent les impôts retenus à la source prendront alors effet entre le Canada et une juridiction cocontractante à compter du premier jour de l'année civile qui commence à la dernière des dates à laquelle l'IM est entré en vigueur pour le Canada et la partie contractante. Pour ce qui est des autres impôts, par exemple l'imposition du gain en capital sur titre à valeur immobilière prépondérante, l'IM prendra effet pour les années d'imposition commençant à l'expiration ou après l'expiration d'une période de six mois (ou d'une période plus courte si les juridictions contractantes notifient l'OCDE qu'elles ont l'intention d'appliquer une telle période) à compter de la dernière des dates à laquelle l'IM est entré en vigueur pour chacune des juridictions.

Par exemple, dans la mesure où l'IM est déjà en vigueur pour une partie cocontractante et que le Canada notifie l'OCDE le 1er octobre 2018, (a) les dispositions sur la retenue à la source sur les dividendes seront effectives pour les dividendes payés à compter du 1er janvier 2020 et (b) le regard rétrospectif pour les gains en capital s'appliquera pour les années qui commencent à compter du 1er juillet 2019.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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