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What To Do When a Loved One Dies?

Posted by Steve Frye Posted on 21 Feb 2018

Believe it or not, this is the title of a recent release from the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”). Is there really a softer side to the CRA?

Let’s face there is a lot to do after a loved one dies, and a lot of it not related to tax. But from experience, it does not take long for the subject to come up, which reminds me of the time I was approached by a family member while I was trying to get a few moments of silence over a deceased’s casket at a wake. A story for another time perhaps!

Anyway, the CRA just published a useful checklist of what to do related to taxes and tax filings – some of the highlights are:

  1. Gather all of the deceased’s tax information as soon as you can, (particularly before premises and belongings are disposed of).
  2. Notify CRA of the date of death by calling them or complete Information sheet RC4111 What to do Following Death
  3. Request that CRA stop benefit and credit payments such goods and services tax and working income tax benefit payments, if applicable. This will eliminate the need to refund these payments at a later date.
  4. Advise Service Canada of the date of death – this stop CPP, OAS and GIS payments if applicable.
  5. Get yourself named as the legal representative, if applicable or get in touch with the legal representative as soon as possible.
  6. If you are the legal representative you can refer the same information sheet noted above or Guide T4011 Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons to assist with filing out the final tax return. It will deal with due dates, (removing some of the anxiety with the completing the process), how to report income after death etc.

This might appear to be basic stuff. Some of this may be handled by people you have engaged to assist you with post-mortem services. But, at the very least, this will assist you with getting control of the process which is often a source of comfort to folks during the grieving period.

Happy Reading

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