Canada: Mise à jour sur l'imposition des options d'achat d'actions accordées aux employés

Le 17 juin 2019, le ministère des Finances a publié un avant-projet de loi concernant l'imposition des options d'achat d'actions accordées aux employés. Cet avis de motion de voies et moyens très attendu a déposé les modifications législatives annoncées dans le budget fédéral 2019. Les points saillants de l'avis de motion de voies et moyens sont décrits ci-après.

Date d'effet

Les modifications proposées s'appliqueront aux options d'achat d'actions des employés accordées le 1er janvier 2020 ou après cette date. Cette date d'effet constitue un revirement par rapport aux déclarations initiales du budget de 2019 selon lesquelles les modifications prendraient effet cet été au moment de la publication des propositions législatives.

Nouveau plafond annuel de 200 000 $

Les modifications proposées établissent un nouveau plafond annuel de 200 000 $ sur le nombre d'options d'achat d'actions dont l'employé peut acquérir les droits au cours d'une année et qui peuvent continuer de bénéficier d'un traitement fiscal préférentiel (c.-à-d. de la déduction de 50 %) en vertu des règles fiscales en vigueur sur les options d'achat d'actions d'employés. Le nombre d'options admissibles selon le plafond d'acquisition annuel est fondé sur la juste valeur marchande des actions sous-jacentes au moment où les options sont attribuées.  

En règle générale, l'« année d'acquisition » relativement à une option d'achat d'actions d'employé correspond à l'une des années suivantes : (i) l'année de calendrier durant laquelle le droit du contribuable d'acquérir l'action aux termes de la convention d'option peut être exercé pour la première fois, si la convention d'option prévoit cette année de calendrier, (ii) sinon, la première année de calendrier durant laquelle il est raisonnable de s'attendre à ce que l'option puisse être exercée.

Exception applicable aux SPCC et aux entreprises « en démarrage, émergentes ou en expansion »

Les modifications proposées ne s'appliquent pas aux « sociétés privées sous contrôle canadien » ni aux entreprises en démarrage, émergentes ou en expansion qui satisfont à certains critères prescrits. Ces critères n'ont pas encore été énumérés. 

Le gouvernement souhaiterait connaître les points de vue des intervenants par rapport aux caractéristiques qui devraient être prises en considération pour déterminer si une entreprise est en démarrage, émergente ou en expansion aux fins prescrites. Les commentaires seront recueillis jusqu'au 16 septembre 2019.  

Déduction de l'employeur

L'employeur pourra demander une déduction lorsque des options non admissibles au traitement fiscal préférentiel sont exercées. Curieusement, on ne peut se prévaloir de la déduction que si l'employé aurait par ailleurs eu droit au traitement fiscal préférentiel (c.-à-d. à la déduction de 50 %) s'il s'était situé sous le plafond annuel de 200 000 $.  

Les employeurs peuvent aussi désigner des options d'achat d'actions précises comme étant non admissibles au régime fiscal préférentiel (même si l'employé se situe sous le plafond de 200 000 $) et plutôt demander la déduction d'impôt accordée aux sociétés.

Prochaines étapes

La prochaine élection fédérale a été fixée au 21 octobre 2019 et l'avis de motion de voies et moyens (déposé le 17 juin 2019) ne sera probablement pas adopté avant cette date.  

À l'exception du Parti libéral, les principaux partis politiques du Canada n'ont pas fait savoir s'ils avaient l'intention de mettre en Suvre, de réviser ou d'abandonner les modifications proposées par le gouvernement au régime actuel des options d'achat d'actions. La mise en Suvre définitive de ces modifications sera par conséquent tributaire du résultat de l'élection fédérale.

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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