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More than 44K bare trust tax returns filed despite deadline pause: minister

Months after the confusion over whether Canadians needed to file bare trust tax returns before the April 2 deadline, we now know how many actually filed — even once the Canada Revenue Agency hit the pause button.

According to National Revenue Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, 44,034 tax returns were filed from Jan. 1 to April 16 of this year.

John Oakey, vice-president of taxation with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, said he’s not surprised by that number.

“It’s expected that a certain number of trusts were going to be filed because you’re preparing in advance to get these things done before the deadline,” he told Global News.

He cautions there are issues, though, due to both Bibeau noting the numbers could change and the fact there may be other bare trusts out there, either from those who were in the process of filing or those who were unaware they had a trust that would need to be filed.

The requirement to file a return for bare trust arrangements was newly introduced by the CRA this year.

That trust refers to legal ownership of a property or account that does not match who is entitled to it.

This can include a parent co-signing and being on title for the mortgage of a child or a joint bank account between an adult child and an older parent.

Regardless of the confusion, some taxpayer advocates are calling for action by the CRA and government.

“The CRA owes each and every one of those 44,000 Canadians an apology,” Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, told Global News. “It created mental stress and financial stress for Canadians.”

Accountants were also left in the lurch, with Avisar Chartered Professional Accountants partner Chris Dyck telling Global News there’s more to it than

Read more on globalnews.ca