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Complete Tax Guide for a Widower

Complete Tax Guide for a Widower

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April 22, 2020

Dealing with the death of a partner is difficult. CRA recognizes this as a difficult time, but there are still definite rules about what to do following the death of a Canadian taxpayer. So, this CloudTax complete tax guide for a widower outlines what you need to know.

  • What to do first
  • Are you the legal representative?
  • What if they paid their tax by instalments?
  • Do you need to do anything about their GST/HST credit payments?
  • What about Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payments?
  • When is the final tax return due? And when do you have to pay any balance owed by the estate?

For more information directly from CRA, see What to do when someone has died or guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons.

What to do first tax guide for a widower?

First, inform CRA of the deceased person’s date of death asap. Call 1-800-959-8281, or complete the form and mail it in.

All payments must be stopped, or transferred to a survivor for:

  • Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit.
  • Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) advance payments.
  • Canada child benefit (CCB) payments for a child.

Also, notify Service Canada. Call 1-800-622-6232.

Are you the legal representative?

The legal representative is one of these:

  • Named as the executor in the will.
  • Appointed administrator of the estate by a court.
  • Liquidator for the estate, in Quebec.

As a widower, your request to be the deceased’s legal representative requires completing an Affidavit form if there’s no legal document.

Your responsibilities as the legal rep are:

  • Filing tax returns
  • Paying all the taxes
  • Telling beneficiaries any amounts they receive, and if they are taxable
  • Obtain a clearance certificate certifying all debts to CRA are paid

Remember: If you receive payment as the executor or administrator, you report that as income on a T4. The only exception is if the executor fees are business income for you.

As the legal representative, you’ll need the deceased person’s tax information. Moreover, there is a new rule in which if you are the legal representative of a client, your authorization does not get cancelled upon date of death of the individual, and you will be able to access the deceased person’s information.

Before the CRA gives you any information, you need to give them:

  • A copy of the death certificate
  • The deceased’s SIN (social insurance number)
  • Complete copy of their will or any other legal documents like a letter of administration or grant of probate that shows you’re their legal rep
  • New mailing address, if applicable

You can appoint an authorized representative for all the dealings with CRA for tax matters. Then you never have to talk to CRA directly.

To use CRA’s online access, you register for “Represent a Client” before sending in the legal documents. Once registered, provide your RepID on the documents that naming you as the legal rep.

You’ll want to get a clearance certificate before distributing any property. It shows the clearance of debts to CRA. Without that certificate, you are personally liable for the tax owed, up to the value of the assets distributed. A trust has a separate clearance certificate.

To request a clearance certificate, use Form TX19, Asking for a Clearance Certificate. NEVER include Form TX19 with a tax return. Send it only afterwards, once you receive the NOAs for all the returns, and paid the amounts owed. The address of your tax office is on the form.

See: Filing tax for a deceased person

What if they paid their tax by instalments?

If the deceased paid their tax by instalment, don’t make any more payments after their death until the final assessment is completed. Pay any instalments that weren’t paid before their death.

Do you need to do anything about their GST/HST credit payments?

GST/HST payments show up on July 5th, October, January, and April. If the deceased received GST/HST payments, there could be another payment made after the date of their death. Return the payment to your local tax centre, if so.

If the deceased received credit payments from other programs, you don’t have to do anything else. The CRA uses the information from the GST/HST to adjust the other credits.

You may now be eligible to receive the GST/HST credit they received. The GST/HST credit payments calculated based on only your net income.

If your GST/HST credit includes claiming for the deceased person, payments now recalculate based on your net income and will include you and any children.

Hopefully, the CloudTax complete tax guide for a widower outlines what you need to know.

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Nimalan Balachandran is the Founder and CEO of CloudTax, a NETFILE-certified web and mobile-friendly income-tax filing platform that was specifically designed to allow Canadian non-business taxpayers with minimal knowledge in tax preparation, to file their return at no cost.



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