Canada Spousal Loan Agreement: What You Need to Know

A spousal loan agreement is a type of financial arrangement between two individuals who are married or in a common-law relationship. It involves one spouse lending money to the other spouse with the intention of minimizing their taxes and maximizing their overall financial portfolio. In Canada, this type of loan agreement has become increasingly popular among couples who are looking to manage their finances more efficiently.

The Basics of Canada Spousal Loan Agreement

A spousal loan agreement in Canada is a legal contract between two spouses. The agreement entails that one spouse lends money to the other spouse at a prescribed interest rate. The interest rate is typically based on Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) prescribed rate, which is currently set at 1%.

The purpose of this arrangement is to shift income from the high-income spouse to the low-income spouse, thereby reducing the overall tax burden of the couple. Since the low-income spouse is the one who is receiving the loan, they are the one who will be taxed on the interest payments, which will be at a lower tax rate.

Benefits of Canada Spousal Loan Agreement

The spousal loan agreement in Canada has several benefits. One of the most significant benefits is that it allows the couple to split their income, thereby reducing their overall tax burden. Additionally, it enables the spouse who is lending the money to earn a higher return on their investment than they would be able to get from keeping the money in a savings account or other low-risk investments.

Another significant benefit of a spousal loan agreement is that it allows the low-income spouse to have access to more substantial funds, which can be used to invest in assets that will generate higher returns. The high-income spouse can lend money at a much lower interest rate than they would need to pay if they were borrowing from a traditional lender. This can allow the low-income spouse to invest in assets that would not be feasible with a higher interest rate.

Legal Considerations of Canada Spousal Loan Agreement

It is essential to note that a spousal loan agreement in Canada must be documented and meet specific requirements to be considered valid by the CRA. These requirements include:

– The loan must be made in writing, and both spouses must sign the agreement.

– The agreement must specify the date and amount of the loan, the interest rate, and the repayment schedule.

– The low-income spouse must pay the interest on the loan annually, and the high-income spouse must report the interest as income on their tax return.

It is also important to consider the potential risks of a spousal loan agreement. If the low-income spouse defaults on the loan, the high-income spouse may not be able to get their money back. Additionally, if the interest rate on the loan is set too low, CRA may view it as a gift, which could result in adverse tax consequences.


A spousal loan agreement in Canada can be an effective tool for managing a couple’s finances and reducing their overall tax burden. However, it is important to ensure that the agreement meets specific legal requirements and that both spouses fully understand the risks and benefits involved. If you are considering a spousal loan agreement, it is advisable to consult a financial or legal professional to ensure that the arrangement is appropriate for your individual circumstances.

Canada Spousal Loan Agreement