Ask an Accountant: Clearance certificates for deceased taxpayers

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

If you are a legal representative for a deceased individual and/or their estate you may want to obtain a clearance certificate before you distribute any property of the deceased’s or the estate’s that is under your control. The purpose of a clearance certificate for an individual is to certify that all amounts for which the deceased is liable to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for has been paid, or that security for the payment has been obtained for all tax years to the date of death. If a certificate is not obtained, as the legal representative you can be personally liable for any amount owing from the deceased up to the value of the property you distributed. It should be noted that if there is a trust, a separate clearance certificate must be obtained for the trust. A certificate is not required before the distribution of property, as long as enough property is held to cover any liability to the CRA.
To request a clearance certificate you must complete Form TX19, Asking for a Clearance Certificate, and send it to the Assistant Director, Audit at your tax services office (for Slave Lake residents this is the Edmonton Tax Services Office Suite 10, 9700 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 4C8). This form should be completed after you have filed all tax returns required, have received notice of assessments for said returns, and have paid or secured all amounts owing as a result of those returns. To avoid any delays in the certificate issuance, the following should be attached to Form TX19: 1. A copy of the will, or a copy of the trust document for inter vivos trusts; 2. A statement showing the list of assets and distribution plan, which includes a description of each asset, the original cost of the asset, the names, addresses, social insurance numbers of the recipients and their relationship to the deceased; 3. Any documents that are necessary to prove that you are the legal representative; and 4. A letter of authorization that you have signed if you want us to communicate with any other person or firm, or you would like the clearance certificate sent to an address other than your own.
Once the clearance certificate has been received you should complete the actual distribution of any property that you retain control over as soon as possible. Should you require assistance in the application for a clearance certificate or for the filing of the final returns please contact your local CGA.
Please e-mail your questions to bonnie@nashgirouxllp.ca.
Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CGA for information specific to your own needs.

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