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I have stock options I can buy for about $30k that are currently worth about $40k. If I buy these stocks and transfer ownership to my wife and she then moves them under her RRSP, does this trigger capital gains on my taxes? Or can stock ownership be transferred between spouses without triggering capital gains?

Also, would the RRSP contribution for her be on the current value of the stocks ($40k) or the price that I actually paid ($30k)?

Thanks for your help!
 

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This gets a bit complicated, and I don't have all the answers.

A transfer of stock ownership between spouses, the transfer does not trigger immediate capital gains. It is essentially deferred until the property is actually disposed or "deemed disposed". But you are considerd to have transferred it to her at the FMV on the date of transfer, and she acquires it an ACB=FMV. If and when the property is disposed of, you will owe capital gains on the difference between your original ACB and the FMV at transfer, she will owe capital gains going forward from the date of transfer. Read T4037 - Capital Gains

I can't find the reference offhand, but I'm pretty sure from other posts that when she transfers the stock into a tax-sheltered vehcile such as an RRSP it is considered a "deemed disposition" at the then FMV. Both of your will then have to declare a capital gain/loss - you up until the date of transfer to your spouse, and your spouse from that date to the date of transfer to the RRSP. The "contribution room" used would of course be the a the date of contribution.

Where it gets a little squirrelly is in the whole question of attribution rules. But if your spouse had 40K in contribution room I take it she has some income and assets in her own name, so you could argue the value of the contribution did come from her own assets. But stock transfers leave an uncomfortable paper trail.

If this is a "spousal RRSP", not your spouse's personal RSSP, then attribution is not an issue (as long as the funds are not removed for 3 years).
 
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