All About Estates

Tax returns for deceased persons

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will occasionally post requests to help improve the Agency’s processing efficiency. Recent posts caught my attention given their application to returns for deceased individuals.

Date of Death
The CRA noticed that tax preparers occasionally include a deceased person’s date of death on the living spouse’s tax return. This may result in the CRA mistakenly recording the living spouse as deceased.
This error can cause major financial and emotional consequences since it can stop all benefit payments to the living person. The benefits that would significantly affect them are the Canada child benefit, goods and services tax credit / harmonized sales tax credit, the Canada Pension Plan and old age security. Other benefits may also be affected.
The ask is to include the date of death information only on the deceased person’s tax return.
Social insurance numbers (SIN) on legal documents
If you are a representative settling a deceased person’s estate, please make sure the deceased person’s SIN is clearly written on the will and the death certificate before these documents are sent to the CRA. This will help ensure there are no delays in the CRA updating the appropriate records with the date of death information.
About Derek de Gannes
Derek A. de Gannes: Senior Director, Private Client Services of RSM Canada. RSM Canada is committed to the highest level of integrity, quality and professionalism and provides clients with solutions in the area of Audit, Tax and Transaction Services. Email:


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