Having practiced in the tax area for over thirty years I have seen my fair share of tax payments and tax filings get lost in the hands of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). More often than not the lost items relate to trusts and estates which have made filings without an account number. If and when found by the CRA, the agency would look to assess penalties and interest for late submissions.
Generally speaking, tax returns and tax payments should include a tax identification number. As well, where a trust or estate has received a taxable distribution to be reported on an information slip the issuer is required to include an identification number else risk a penalty for incomplete reporting. With the coming of age of electronic filing, taxpayers without identification numbers will have difficulty filing returns likely leading to penalties for missed filings. Unlike individuals, trusts and estates are not automatically assigned a tax identification number such as a social and do not assume the tax identification of the deceased. The CRA guides for trusts and estates do not provide any guidance on how to obtain a tax identification number. In my practice, I fax a copy of page 1 of the T3 Trust Tax and Information Return along with a copy of either the will or the trust agreement to the CRA who promptly return an identification number.
Spare yourself the bother that goes along with misplaced tax payments and tax filings and speak with a pro about a tax identification number