Personal Representatives can now Apply Online to the CRA for Clearance Certificates
When someone passes away, their personal representative will need to obtain a certificate of clearance from the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”). This certificate confirms that the deceased person has paid all tax, interest and penalties owed at the time the certificate is issued. We generally recommend that the personal representative obtain the clearance certificate before distributing any of the assets of the estate to avoid personal liability for any amounts that may have been owed by the deceased or their estate to the CRA.
Now the CRA has made it possible for a personal representative to apply for the clearance certificate online through their secure portal.
A clearance certificate is requested after:
- all tax returns have been filed
- the notice(s) of assessment and notice(s) of reassessment have been received by the personal representative
- any outstanding amounts have been paid to the CRA
The CRA assessment can take up to 120 days once all necessary documents are submitted. In certain situations, the CRA may need to do an audit before it issues the clearance certificate which will extend the assessment period.
See the CRA website for full instructions regarding electronic submission for clearance certificates.
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