Deemed disposition of property
We discuss the tax treatment of capital property the deceased owned at the date of death. We deal with capital property in general (capital property other than depreciable property), as well as the particular treatment of depreciable property, and farm and fishing property transferred to a child. We discuss only property acquired after December 31, 1971.
There are special rules for property that a deceased person owned before 1972. For details about these rules and for information about other property such as eligible capital property, resource property, or an inventory of land, contact us at 1-800-959-8281.
When a person dies, we consider that the person has disposed of all capital property right before death. We call this a deemed disposition.
Also, right before death, we consider that the person has received the deemed proceeds of disposition (we will refer to this as "deemed proceeds"). Even though there was not an actual sale, there can be a capital gain or, except for depreciable property or personal-use property, a capital loss.
For depreciable property, in addition to a capital gain, there can also be a recapture of capital cost allowance. Also, for depreciable property, instead of a capital loss there may be a terminal loss.
What is a capital gain?
When the proceeds or deemed proceeds of disposition of a capital property are more than its adjusted cost base, the result is a capital gain. In most cases, one-half of the capital gain is the taxable capital gain.
What is a capital gains deduction?
This is a deduction you can claim for the deceased person against eligible taxable capital gains from the disposition or deemed disposition of certain capital property.
You may be able to claim the capital gains deduction on taxable capital gains the deceased had in 2012 from:
- dispositions or deemed dispositions of qualified farm property or, after May 1 2006, qualified fishing property;
- dispositions or deemed dispositions of qualified small business corporation shares; and
- a reserve brought into income from either of the above.
The lifetime capital gains exemption has been increased from $500,000 to $750,000 for dispositions after March 18, 2007. Since the inclusion rate for capital gains and losses is 50%, the lifetime capital gains deduction limit has been increased from $250,000 (one-half of $500,000) to $375,000 (one-half of $750,000) for dispositions after March 18, 2007.
For more information, see Line 254 - Capital gains deduction.
What is a capital loss?
When the proceeds or deemed proceeds of disposition of a capital property are less than its adjusted cost base, the result is a capital loss. One-half of the capital loss is the allowable capital loss. You cannot have a capital loss on the disposition of depreciable property or personal use property.
For more information on claiming a capital loss, see Net capital losses in the year of death.
Recaptures and terminal losses
For depreciable property, when the proceeds or deemed proceeds of disposition are more than the undepreciated capital cost, you will usually have a recapture of capital cost allowance. Include the recapture in income on the deceased's final return.
For depreciable property, when the proceeds or deemed proceeds of disposition are less than the undepreciated capital cost, the result is a terminal loss. Deduct the terminal loss on the deceased's final return.
A terminal loss is not allowed for depreciable property that was personal-use property of the deceased.
For more information about a recapture of capital cost allowance or a terminal loss, see Interpretation Bulletin IT478, Capital Cost Allowance - Recapture and Terminal Loss.
Forms and publications
- Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons
- Guide T4037, Capital gains
- Schedule 3, Capital Gains (or Losses)
- Interpretation Bulletin IT478, Capital Cost Allowance - Recapture and Terminal Loss
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