Dear Uncle Bean,

About two years ago, my husband of 28 years suddenly passed away.  Since then, I’ve been having problems managing a lot of things that my husband used to do.  Unfortunately, filing my taxes is one of those items.

What should I do?



Dear Worried:

We are sorry to hear about your loss.  It is a very difficult thing to recover after such a tragedy.  Lucky for you, the Canada Revenue Agency is pretty forgiving in cases like yours.

The first thing that you need to do is file your missing tax returns and your husband’s final tax return.  This can be completed by our office.  The first step is to set up an appointment with the tax accountant to review all of the particulars of each year that have not been filed.  From that meeting, we will be able to advise you of the information that we will need along with the T-slips that will be required.  With the information that we collect from this meeting, we will be able to prepare and file the tax returns for you.

Once the tax returns are filed, you will receive a document called a Notice of Assessment.  Depending on your situation and your husband’s situation, there may be a penalty that is assessed because the tax returns were late.  There may also be interest owing for the fact that the money has been owed for a long time.

Our approach will be to ask the CRA for forgiveness for the penalties and interest given your circumstances.  The process will be to send a letter to the Fairness Committee of the CRA asking that the penalties and interest be forgotten.  The letter should read that due to the passing of your husband, you were not able to file the tax returns.  We will also attach a death certificate showing that your husband has passed away.

Our experience with these situations has been that the CRA is pretty accommodating when a loved one has passed away as long as you can show proof.  In most cases, the penalties are forgiven and the interest charges are reduced.

So the first step is to phone the office of Padgett Business Services® Calgary SE and Okotoks at (403) 452-8183 and set up an appointment.  We will be happy to step you through the process.