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Things you should know about Ontario's estate administration tax

If someone you know and love has died, then you may be faced with the daunting task of handling matters of your loved one's estate, including the payment of debts and the distribution of assets. Depending on the kinds of assets involved, you may need to file for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee. We've discussed this filing process in one our previous posts.

Another important duty that falls to estate trustees is the payment of the estate administration tax (EAT). This tax is due when the person applies for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee to act as an estate trustee for an estate. Probate fees were replaced by the tax in 1998 by the estate administration tax.

EAT is calculated as $5 for every $1000 of the assets of the estate for the first $50,000 plus $15 for every $1000 of the assests of the estate in excess of $50,000.

Depending on the circumstances of the estate in question, it may be possible to provide the estate's estimated value for calculating the amount of EAT. In this case, the person applying to be appointed as trustee must file an affidavit estimating the estate's value, pay the tax based on that value, and arrange to file a sworn statement within six months as to the estate's total value. If there is any additional tax owed, then the balance must be paid.

If you have questions about any of these matters, the Ministry of the Attorney General recommends seeking a lawyer's advice.

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