Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult. So, the last thing you’ll want is for a client to have to figure out how to handle someone’s taxes after they pass away.

When discussing a client’s estate plans, consider sharing the following steps with them and their families to alleviate any future stress.

When someone dies, here’s what CRA requires: 

  1. Tell CRA about the deceased’s date of death as soon as possible. Call 1-800-959-8281 or fill out the form on the back of RC4111, What to Do Following a Death (send the form to a tax services office or tax centre).
  2. If the deceased was receiving any of the benefit and credit payments listed below, contact the CRA as soon as possible to stop the payments and, if applicable, transfer them to a survivor:
  3. Tell Service Canada the deceased’s date of death by contacting a Service Canada office or call 1-800-622-6232.

Other important facts

  • People must file a final return after a family member’s death. On the deceased’s final return, the legal representative of the deceased must report all of the deceased’s income from January 1 of the year of his or her death, up to and including the date of death, and claim all credits and deductions that the person is entitled to.
  • Income earned after the date of death may have to be reported on a T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Return. For more information on how to complete the deceased’s final return, see tax guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons.
  • The legal representative of the deceased is required to file any tax returns for the years that the person did not file before he or she died.
  • If an individual who pays tax by instalments dies during the year, instalment payments due on or after the date of death do not have to be paid.
  • The due date for the final return depends on the deceased’s date of death. For more information, refer to RC4111, What to Do Following a Death or tax guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons.

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