The Department of Finance has released Legislative Proposals Relating to Income Taxation of Certain Trusts and Estates. There are a number of amendments to the Income Tax Act. The Conservative government had previously provided greater flexibility with bequest donations so that the donation could be made by the individual or the estate. However, there was a deadline of 36 months from the date of death. It has now been extended to 60 months or 5 years.
The advantage of this is that an estate that is slow to liquidate assets or may be subject to litigation has a longer time to donate to charity and receive the full tax incentives. The extension will probably affect few estates. Some charities may be concerned that it will delay bequests as there is now less of an incentive to donate within 3 years.
You can view the changes and explanatory notes at:
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.