An early holiday gift has been sent to estate law practitioners. The Ministry of Finance has announced its long-anticipated new probate tax regulations under s.4.1 of the Estate Administration Tax Act, which remain in draft form but should be finalized before the end of the month.

The draft regulations indicate that effective January 1, 2015, estate trustees will be required to file an “estate information return” providing details regarding assets of the estate. The aim, presumably, is to ensure more accurate disclosure of assets so as to collect more probate tax.

According to the Ministry’s announcement, the new regulation will require the following information to be submitted in the estate information return:

  • the deceased’s name, address, date of birth, date of death, marital status at the time of death and the date of will (if there is a will);
  • a detailed list of assets of the deceased and a description and the value of each asset;
  • confirmation of the amount of Estate Administration Tax, or deposit, paid by the estate on filing the Application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee;
  • information about the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, including the name of the estate representative, location and date on which application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee was made, and the date the Certificate was issued;
  • The date on which the estate representative gave an undertaking required under subsection 3 (4) of the Act and a copy of the undertaking, if the tax or deposit was calculated based on the estimated value of the estate; and
  • Certain details of the court order, if the Superior Court of Justice issued the estate Certificate under subrule 74.13 (3) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, without payment of a deposit required under section 3 of the Act.

Whether this new filing requirement will result in more tax revenue for the Province remains to be seen. What is certain is that estate trustees will have yet another item on their long list of responsibilities.

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