Tax Interpretations reports that the CRA believes it is possible to rollover property to a common-law spouse under section 73 of the ITA or the RRSP rollover rules pursuant to a written separation agreement. This is true, the CRA thinks, even though the common-law spouses might not have rights to an equalization of property. This is summarizing the answer to question 1 at the APFF Roundtable on October 6, 2017.
Mrs X dies leaving her common shares in the capital of Holdco to her husband. For some reason, the executors of her estate undertake a reorganization pursuant to s 86 of the Income Tax Act in which the common shares are exchanged for shares of another class. The shares of the other class are then transferred to the husband pursuant to Mrs X’s will. The CRA takes the position that, as a result of the reorganization being undertaken before the transfer to the husband, the spousal rollover will not be available to Mrs X’s estate. 2017 STEP Roundtable, Q.11.
UpdateI should have linked to the Gowlings article on the 2017 STEP Roundtable because it isn’t paywalled.