According to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Bill 120: Estate Administration Tax Fairness Act, 2015, was brought before the Legislature seeking amendments to the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998 (“EATA“).

The EATA was only recently amended, and entered into force on January 1, 2015.  Substantive changes were made at that time.  These changes have been the subject of Hull & Hull LLP blogs and podcasts, including such topics as: general changes to the EATA; frequently asked questions; the effect of the EATA on insurance policy proceeds; and, how to file the estate information return.

Bill 120 sought amendments to the EATA with respect to the following areas:

Value of the Estate –  In determining the value of the estate, the current procedure is to deduct any encumbrances on real property to the total estate value.  The Bill sought to amend the definition of ‘value of the estate’ by deducting not only the value of any encumbrance on any such property, but also any amounts bequeathed or devised for a charitable purpose.

Estate Administration Tax –  Currently, the amount of tax payable upon the issuance of an estate certificate is $5.00 for each $1,000 (or part thereof) for the first $50,000 of the value of the estate, and $15.00 for each $1,000 (or part thereof) of the value of the estate that exceeds $50,000.  Decreases to the amount of tax payable were proposed such that any estate valued at less than $50,000 would pay nil tax, with increased taxes owing for estates valued more than $50,000, with the maximum of tax payable to be capped at $3,250.

Disclosure to the Minister of Finance – Bill 120 also sought to limit the information given to the Minister of Finance and along with certain continuing obligations imposed therein.

The Second Reading of Bill 120 was held on September 24, 2015, at which time the motion was declared lost, and the Second Reading negatived.

Noah Weisberg