Line 349 - Donations and gifts

Use this line to claim charitable donations the deceased, or their spouse or common-law partner, made before the date of death and complete Schedule 9, Donations and Gifts.

Support the claims for donations and gifts with official donation receipts that the registered charity or other qualified donee has issued, showing either the deceased's name, or the deceased's spouse's or common-law partner's name.

For deaths that occur after 2015, estate donations (donations made by will and designation donations) are deemed to be made by the individual’s estate and where certain conditions are met, by the individual’s (GRE).

GRE donations are donations by a GRE to a qualified donee. The donated property must be property that was acquired by the estate on and as a consequence of the death (or property that was substituted for such property). GRE donations include those made through the will and designation donations.

A designation donation is a donation of a direct distribution of proceeds to a qualified donee from an RRSP (including a group RRSP), RRIF, a tax-free savings account (TFSA), or life insurance policy (including a group life insurance policy) as a result of a beneficiary designation. The above does not apply if the qualified donee is the policyholder or an assignee of the deceased person’s interest in the policy.

You can allocate a GRE donation among any of the following:

  • the taxation year of the GRE in which the donation is made
  • an earlier taxation year of the GRE
  • the last 2 taxation years of the deceased individual (the final return and the return for the preceding year)

In addition, a gift made after the 36 month period but within 60 months after the date of death by a former GRE that continues to meet all of the requirements of a GRE except for the 36 month time limit, can be allocated among either of the following:

  • the taxation year of the estate in which the donation is made
  • an earlier taxation year of the estate if the estate is a GRE in that preceding year
  • the last 2 taxation years of the deceased individual (the final return and the return for the preceding year)

An estate, whether it is a GRE or not, can claim a charitable donations tax credit for an estate donation in the year in which the donation is made or in any of the 5 following years (or 10 years for a gift of ecologically sensitive land made after February 10, 2014). 

As the legal representative, you must attach supporting documentation for the donations made. The type of supporting documentation you have to provide depends on when the registered charity or other qualified donee will receive the gift.

For gifts that will be received right away, provide an official donation receipt.

For gifts that will be received later, provide a copy of all of the following:

  • the will
  • a letter from the estate to the charitable organization that will receive the gift, advising of the gift, a description of the property being gifted and its estimated value
  • a letter from the charitable organization acknowledging the gift and stating that it will accept the gift
  • a statement or letter from the legal representative of the estate stating all of the following:
    • the estate is the graduated rate estate (GRE) of the deceased individual and will be designating itself as such
    • the estate intends to make the gift within 60 months after the date of death
    • the amount of the gift claimed on the final return of the deceased individual will not be claimed on any other return (of any estate of the deceased individual in any taxation year)
    • for non-cash gifts, the value of the future gift can be reasonably ascertained and supported
An estate that makes a donation more than 60 months after the date of death can claim a charitable donations tax credit in the year in which the donation is made or in any of the 5 following years (or 10 years for a gift of ecologically sensitive land).
 

Generally, when an individual dies, the individual is deemed to have disposed of all capital property immediately before the individual’s death.

Where the estate of an individual donates property that was the subject of a deemed disposition by the individual immediately before the individual’s death, and the property’s fair market value upon transfer to the qualified donee has changed, the difference will result in a gain or loss to the estate that will generally be recognized for income tax purposes. This will be the case whether or not the donation is a GRE donation or a former GRE donation.

If the property is certified cultural property or ordinarily benefits from a capital gains inclusion rate of zero, see the sections called “Gifts of certified cultural property” and “Capital gains realized on gifts of certain capital property” in Pamphlet P113, Gifts and Income Tax. However, if the property donated:

  • is a property that benefits from a capital gains exemption or exclusion when donated as described in the sections of Pamphlet P113 referenced above
  • where the estate is a GRE and the donation is a GRE donation

the same treatment will apply to the capital gain on the deemed disposition of the property immediately before the individual’s death. Under proposed changes, this treatment will also apply to former GRE donations.

Additional special rules exist for the proceeds of disposition and cost amount of gifts of art, from the artist’s inventory, on and as a consequence of the artist’s death.

The deceased may have donated amounts in the 5 years before the year of death. As long as the deceased did not previously claim the amounts, you can claim them in the year of death. Where part of a donation has already been claimed, attach a note to the return giving the amounts and the year or years the donations were made. Also, attach any receipts that were not attached to previous returns, if applicable.

Note

Charitable donations cannot be carried forward from a T1 return to a T3 return.

For information on the amount that can be claimed, see Limitations on claim amount of gift.

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