Who should file a T3 return

You have to file a T3 return if income from the trust property is subject to tax, and in the tax year, the trust:

  • has tax payable
  • is requested to file
  • is resident in Canada and has either disposed of, or is deemed to have disposed of, a capital property or has a taxable capital gain (for example, a principal residence, or shares)
  • is a non-resident throughout the year, and has a taxable capital gain or has disposed of taxable Canadian property
  • is a deemed resident trust
  • holds property that is subject to subsection 75(2) of the Act
  • has paid a benefit of more than $100 to a beneficiary for the upkeep, maintenance, or taxes on a property maintained for the beneficiary's use (for more information, see “Line 43 – Upkeep, maintenance, and taxes of a property used or occupied by a beneficiary” in Chapter 3 of  Guide T4013, T3 Trust Guide
  • receives any income, gain, or profit from the trust property that is allocated to one or more beneficiaries and the trust has:
    • total income from all sources of more than $500
    • income of more than $100 allocated to any single beneficiary
    • distributed capital to one or more beneficiaries
    • allocated any portion of the income to a non-resident beneficiary

Examples

You must file a T3 return when a trust does not have tax payable but it holds property that is subject to subsection 75(2) of the Act and it received income, gains, or profits during the year from that property.

You must file a T3 return when the trust’s total income from all sources is less than $500 but it distributed capital to one or more beneficiaries.

If a trust changes its residency status, it still keeps the same trust number.

When an electing trust has filing obligations under both its resident portion trust and non-resident portion trust, you have to file these amounts separately under two different trust numbers.

Tax tip

You may not have to file a T3 return if the estate is distributed right after the person dies, or if the estate did not earn income before it was distributed. In these cases, you should give each beneficiary a statement showing their share of the estate.

Forms and publications

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