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What is a clearance certificate?

Prior to distributing the assets of an estate the estate trustee applies for a tax clearance certificate. This document from CRA certifies that the deceased’s taxes for before the time of distribution have been paid.

The estate trustee can only ask for a clearance certificate when all the returns have been filed and the notice of assessment(s) received. Estate trustees who do distribute the estate assets before receiving a tax clearance certificate are personally liable for unpaid amounts to the extent of the property that was distributed. CRA will also charge interest.

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