When a loved one dies, the last thing most people think about is taxes, but they play an important role in settling the estate. In Canada, there is no inheritance tax. You don't have to pay taxes on the money you inherit and you don't have to report it as income. As there is no inheritance tax in Canada, all income earned by the deceased is taxed on a final return.
A common misconception among Canadians is that they can be taxed for the money they inherit. The truth is that there is no inheritance tax in Canada. Instead, after a person has died, a final tax return must be prepared on the income they earned up to the date of death. Any monies due are paid out of the assets of the estate before the remaining funds are transferred to the various beneficiaries.
The good news is that there are no inheritance or inheritance taxes in Canada. The bad news is that income taxes and capital gains must be paid when someone dies. Instead, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) treats the estate as a sale, unless the surviving spouse or domestic partner inherits the estate, where certain exceptions are possible. This means that the estate pays the taxes owed to the government, rather than to the beneficiaries.
There are no inheritance or inheritance taxes in Canada. However, this does not mean that the property and assets left to the heirs are not taxable. These taxes are applied before the estate is distributed. It is as if the deceased is collecting taxes, rather than his heirs.
If you are the beneficiary of money or assets through an estate, the good news is that the estate pays all taxes before you inherit the money. Technically, once the money is inherited, the tax has already been paid. You don't have to add the inheritance to your tax return. Dealing with capital gains tax on inherited property in Canada can be very tricky, especially if you're not familiar with the complexities of tax laws.
If you sell your home, you will be taxed on any capital gains from the time you died to the price you sell the house for if there is an increase in value. As a retired lawyer, one of the problems I encountered with RRSPs flowing into an estate where there is no designated beneficiary is that not only does the money flow toward the return of the deceased on the date of death, but usually even a modest sum will result in an increase in the tax rate to the maximum. Regardless of whether or not you plan to sell your inherited property, the first thing you need to do is get a fair market valuation of the property's value for probate purposes. Many people who inherit property from a family member ultimately decide to sell it because they already have their own home or have no interest in keeping it.
This means that if you are a beneficiary and receive an inheritance from an estate, then you personally would not have to pay any tax on the amount of the inheritance. As I mentioned earlier, there are no property taxes, however, provinces do charge inheritance fees before equity assets are transferred to beneficiaries. Inheritance tax is known in some countries as a “duty of death” (although not in a legal context), and is called “the last turn of the taxpayer's knife.”. Upon the death of the landlord, the money is transferred to the spouse's name and the income tax becomes payable once the spouse begins to withdraw money.
Any resulting capital gain is taxable by 50% and is added to all other income of the deceased in his final return, where income tax will be calculated according to the applicable personal income tax rates. The same rules apply if you sell a capital asset and its value increases from the time you inherited it. With respect to RRSP and RRIF investments, if an eligible person has been named as a beneficiary, then investment income must not be reported and any taxes are deferred. Instead, the estate would pay taxes before any distribution is made to the beneficiaries, which would be handled by the executor of the estate.
Call it what you want, but the alleged disposal of assets and the payment of death taxes are property taxes. Now that you know the tax consequences of inherited real estate in Canada, you can shape the future of your estate to simplify the process for any beneficiary. . .