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Filing a Final Tax Return When a Loved One Passes Away

Published: February 18, 2020

Dealing with a loss can be hard and attending to their taxes is not often the first thing on one’s mind. However, when someone passes away, that person’s executor has to file their final income tax return for them. The reason is that when someone passes away, they may have to pay taxes on what they owned. Like all other debts, income tax has to be settled by the deceased’s estate, before anyone can inherit from it. The final notice of assessment for the deceased’s tax return is one of the documents the executor needs in order to get a clearance certificate to be able to distribute property from the estate.


The first step in the process for the executor is to contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to inform them of the person’s death. You can do this via telephone or by mail, using form RC4111. After receiving this information, the CRA will ask you to submit a copy of the death certificate, and of the documentation appointing you as the executor, such as the will or court order.


When is the final tax return due?

  • If the death occurred between January 1st and October 31st, the tax return is due April 30th of the following year.
  • If the death occurred between November 1st and December 31st, the tax return is due six months after the date of death.
  • If the deceased person or their spouse/common-law partner is self-employed, the CRA extends the due date to June 15th, but any outstanding taxes are still due April 30th.

What information will you need for the deceased’s tax return?

  • You will need to know the deceased’s income from all sources, starting from January 1st of the year of death up to and including the date of death.
  • You may also need information from previous returns and may have to contact employers, banks, trust companies, stockbrokers and pension plan managers to gather all the information needed to indicate or estimate income and deductions.

If you are unable to get all information and need information directly from the CRA you will need to provide a copy of the death certificate, the deceased’s social insurance number and a copy of the document proving that you are the executor.

LeClair Cremation Centre is here to help you during this difficult time. We will complete the required death registration with the Province of Ontario, secure the Coroner's Cremation Certificate, and file the Canada Pension Plan Death and Survivors Benefits (if qualified). Old Age Security, Social Insurance Number, Ontario Health Insurance Plan, Ontario Trillium Benefits, HST Credit payments, WSIB., Canadian Passport and Ontario Driver's Licence will be rendered inactive as part of our service to you. LeClair Cremation Centre will also provide you with unlimited death certificates to assist the estate settling process. Give us a call when you need us at 705-527-8955. 


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