Clearance Certificate from CRA

Path to Secure Estate Asset Transfers

What is a Clearance Certificate

A clearance certificate, issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), is a document that confirms whether all taxes, interest, and penalties owed by a deceased person’s estate have been paid or adequately secured.
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It serves several purposes:

Estate Settlement

Settles estate tax liabilities before asset distribution.

Certification

Verifies CRA's review of the deceased's tax affairs and outstanding obligations

Protection

Offers legal protection to executors from personal liability for estate taxes

Asset Transfer

Frequently needed by institutions and asset holders to prevent tax issues during asset transfer to beneficiaries

How to Obtain Clearance Certificate

To obtain a clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), follow these general steps.

Gather information about the deceased person's tax details and estate.

Complete Form TX19, available on the CRA's website, providing estate information.

Attach supporting documents, such as the will, asset list, and legal papers.

Submit the application, along with documents, to the CRA by mail.

Allow time for the CRA to review the application, which may take several weeks.

Address any outstanding tax liabilities by making payments or providing security.

Once the CRA is satisfied, they will issue the clearance certificate, confirming the estate's tax affairs are settled.

The executor can distribute the remaining assets to beneficiaries

How long does it take to receive a clearance certificate?

Our evaluation process, provided all the required documentation is submitted, may span a maximum of 120 days. Nevertheless, in specific cases, the CRA might require conducting an audit prior to granting the clearance certificate.

Hourglass containing money and gold coins

What happens after I am issued a Clearance Certificate?

After obtaining a clearance certificate, the responsibility for any outstanding tax liabilities under the Income Tax Act or Part IX of the Excise Tax Act is transferred to the estate, trust, corporation, beneficiaries, or other individuals who have received the distributed assets.

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FAQ

A clearance certificate is an official document issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that certifies that all taxes, interest, and penalties owed by a deceased person, their estate, or trust have been paid, or that sufficient security has been provided to cover the outstanding amounts. It allows the estate’s legal representative to distribute assets to beneficiaries without the risk of being personally responsible for unpaid amounts the estate might owe to the CRA. When the legal representative has a clearance certificate on hand, the liability for unpaid tax falls on whoever receives the distributed assets.

Do not apply for a clearance certificate at the same time as you file the tax returns as it will delay the process. The legal representative should apply for a clearance certificate after all of the necessary returns have been filed and assessed and all taxes have been paid. 

To apply for a Clearance Certificate, you need to complete and submit Form TX19, “Asking for a Clearance Certificate,” to the CRA. You must include all required supporting documents.

The supporting documents include:

  • Copy of the decedent’s will 
  • Document showing you as the legal representative 
  • Listing of the assets owned by the deceased at the date of death and their adjusted cost base and fair market value at the date of distribution 
  • Statement showing the distribution of the estate’s assets to date
  • Statement showing the proposed distribution of the estate’s remaining assets
  • Information of beneficiaries of property other than cash

The processing time can vary and depends on the complexity of the estate and the completeness of the application. It can take up to 120 days to receive a clearance certificate.

CRA does not charge a fee for issuing a clearance certificate

Failing to obtain a clearance certificate before they distribute assets will result in the personal liability of the estate’s executor or trustee for any unpaid taxes, interest, or penalties. It may also prevent the distribution of assets to beneficiaries because the lawyer or financial institution often wants to see the clearance certificate.

Outstanding tax debts or disputes with the CRA will delay the issuance of a clearance certificate. It’s important to work with the CRA to resolve these issues before proceeding with the clearance certificate application.

The legal representative should apply for another clearance certificate before distributing the newly discovered property. They should contact the regional tax services office where they originally filed the clearance certificate application.

How much will it cost for TMP to complete our trust filings?

Basic

Less than $500,000 in assets, 3-5 hours of CPA support.

$750 +HST

Expert

$500,000-$1,500,000 in assets, 6-10 hours of CPA support.

$1,500 +HST

Premium

More than $1,500,000- 10-20 hours of CPA support.

$3,500 +HST

Custom

Please fill in this questionnaire and we’ll get back to you with a quote.

$1,500 +HST

Next Steps

Step 1

Please fill in this questionnaire

Step 2

Schedule a consultation with one of our CPAs to receive a final quote and a checklist of the required data

Step 3

Upload requested data onto cloud folder shared

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Have a question, an idea, or just want to learn more about Triple M Professional Corp.? We’re all ears. Fill out the form or Email us and we’ll connect with you soon.

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Markham Office
905-237-6424
675 Cochrane Dr East Tower 6th Floor, Markham, ON, L3R 0B6
Toronto Bay Street Office
416-333-1116
401 Bay Street, 16th Floor Toronto, ON, M5H 2Y4
San Francisco Office
415-366-5667
590 California Street 16th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
New York Office
212-651-9101
555 Madison Ave 5th Floor Manhattan,
NY 10022
Toronto King Street West Office
416-333-1116
100 King Street West, Suite 5600, Toronto, ON, M5X 1C9