Death And Taxes
As the famous expression, usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, goes, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But what about tax after death? It’s probably safe to assume that in Franklin’s world, death was a blessed relief from tax. However, as it turns out, sometimes the two are not mutually exclusive, at least in the eyes of some tax authorities. In Canada for example, death is no excuse for not filing your tax return, according to the Canada Revenue Agency. Not that you are expected to submit a return from beyond the grave. That would just be silly. No, under Canadian rules this unfortunate task falls to the legal representative of the deceased, as it no doubt does in most jurisdictions.
I suppose by the strict letter of the law, if you shuffle off this mortal coil in the middle of a tax year, and there is income left to be taxed, then that income must be taxed. And since death and taxes don’t discriminate, it’s a rule that applies to everyone, regardless of status. Nevertheless, I’m highlighting this story because it shows just how ubiquitous tax has become in the world we inhabit today; dealing with the tax man is now accepted as one of mundane duties that a grieving family must do as they tie up the affairs of their loved ones. Yes, tax doesn’t discriminate, and it doesn’t show much compassion either.
For more information on this, and other topical international tax matters, please visit: https://www.cchgroup.com/roles/corporations/international-solutions/research/global-tax-weekly-a-closer-look