If you’re an Estate Trustee there are rule changes that came into effect this year you should know about.
“In Ontario, the Estate Trustee must confirm the correct amount of estate administration tax is paid to the Ontario Ministry of Finance,” says Hummingbird Law Wills and Estates Lawyer Ioulia Vinogradova. “The tax paid is based on the value of the assets of the estate.”
She explains that in December of 2014, the Ontario government enforced compliance with the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998 (EATA) and the Estate Trustee’s duty to confirm and pay the right amount of estate administration tax.
“From January 1, 2015, all Estate Trustees who receive a Certificate of Appointment as an Estate Trustee, have a duty to file a detailed inventory indicating everything a person owned at death and the value of those assets,” says Ioulia. She explains that to submit this information, the Estate Trustee must file an Estate Information Return Form (EIR Form).
“But on January 1, 2020, the Ontario Government made changes to the reporting requirements,” says Ioulia. “This affects anyone who has applied and received a Certificate of Appointment as an Estate Trustee from a Superior Court in Ontario after January 1, 2020.”
Also on January 1, 2020 the deadline for filing the EIR Form to the Ontario Ministry of Finance changed from 90 days to 180 days of the issuance of the Certificate of Appointment. The time to report changes to the initial information reported on the EIR Form, including adjustments in value or additional asset information, has also changed from 30 days to 60 days. But, in light of COVID-19 the Ontario government by an order made under s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act has suspended the procedural time periods and limitation periods retroactive to March 16, 2020. At the time of this article, it is not yet known when further changes in light of COVID-19 will be implemented.
Ioulia says that the audit provisions of the EATA have not changed and that the Ontario Ministry of Finance still has the option to audit any EIR Form filed for up to four years from the date it is filed. “We recommend that all Estate Trustees keep all relevant records to substantiate the values of the estate assets to be declared, and subsequently declared, on the EIR Form,” says Ioulia.
Consult with the Estates team at Hummingbird Lawyers to explore what this means for you as an Estate Trustee. Hummingbird Lawyers LLP has two offices for your convenience. Providing qualified, skilled and experienced lawyers in Toronto and lawyers in Vaughan, we are committed to giving our clients the convenience, expertise and guidance they need.