Generally speaking, the Canada Revenue Agency requires a taxpayer’s consent to speak with someone other than the taxpayer about matters related to the person’s tax affairs. One may assume the consent requirement is relaxed when the taxpayer is deceased and the deceased’s affairs are in the hands of the estate trustee(s) Think again as this is not automatic.
As a tax advisor my clients look to me to discuss their tax affairs with the Canada Revenue Agency. Before an agent will discuss my client’s tax affairs with me the agent must first ascertain that the client has given me their permission. My client does so by filing a consent form which identifies my firm as an authorized agent and the specific tax years the details of which I am able to discuss. In an estate situation it is not unusual for the trustee(s) to have missing information which in all likelihood may be provided by the Canada Revenue Agency. An agent will speak with a trustee when the Canada Revenue Agency has received a duly completed consent form along with a copy of the deceased’s will naming the trustee(s).
As a trustee it is not advisable to be caught short of relevant tax information for completion of the deceased’s various tax returns. Take the time to file the appropriate consent requests at your earliest convenience for a smooth transition.