Government Supporting Canadian Athletes With Greater Flexibility for Amateur Athlete Trusts 

News release

December 20, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Canadian athletes train hard and dedicate themselves to their sports, all with the goal of representing our country well in international competitions. The Government of Canada appreciates these efforts and sacrifices, and wants to make sure these athletes can excel for years to come.

At present, amateur athletes can benefit from a deferral of tax on income, through the use of an arrangement known as an amateur athlete trust. An amateur athlete is an individual who is a member of a registered Canadian amateur athletic association, eligible to compete in international sporting events as a Canadian national team member, and not a professional athlete. Income that can be contributed to an amateur athlete trust includes endorsements, prize money, or income from public appearances or speeches in connection with the athlete's participation in international sporting events.

To provide additional flexibility to amateur athletes whose trusts are maturing in 2019, Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced the Government's intention to introduce in Parliament the legislative proposals accompanying this news release, which would extend the maturation period of these trusts by one year, from eight years to nine years. These trusts would now mature in 2020.

Additionally, the Government plans to review the tax treatment of amateur athlete trusts to ensure they continue to provide Canadian athletes with adequate financial flexibility. 


"The amount of heart and hard work Canadian athletes pour into their sports is an example for others, and their success makes all Canadians proud. To help amateur athletes focus on the game and continue to succeed for years to come, our Government is proposing to provide additional flexibility in the management of their finances. These athletes—and the families who support their training—have earned the rewards that come from their hard work."

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Contributions to an amateur athlete trust are exempt from income for tax purposes and investment income is not taxed as it is earned in the trust.

  • Amateur athlete trust amounts (contributions plus investment income) are included in income for tax purposes upon distribution to the athlete or, at the latest, eight years after the later of the last year in which the athlete competed as a Canadian national team member and the year in which the trust was created. If any property remains in the trust at the end of the eight-year period, it is deemed to have been distributed to the amateur athlete.

  • The Government is the single largest investor in Canada's amateur sport system, providing over $200 million per year to support sport development, sport excellence, and hosting for the Canada Games and international sport events.

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Media may contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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