My mother is recently deceased and I have officially finished tearing through her things. I found a filing cabinet that SHOULD have had her taxes in, and a fire safe that also should have had them in, but alas, neither did. I was very careful about going through all the papers around the house before getting rid of anything and I either threw out or moved everything in the place. But I have not found my mother's previous 5 years of tax history. I'm positive I looked through all the materials on my end. Tax documents are very distinctive

My question is, where else could they theoretically be? I'm absolutely certain that they aren't with me.

My mother used to get audited every year and she also had a dependent with a mental disability under her care. She often had to fight with the government over her taxes and whether that dependent was supposed to get his disability payments.

My idea is that she may have mailed them into the government sometime for an audit of some kind. In which case, would the government know that she's deceased and mail them back to her next of kin(me) or would they have sent them to the apartment she used to live in which is empty as of now?

  • W@ere the taxes filed electronically, or hard copy?
    – DJohnM
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 22:04
  • Hard copy. My mother tried doing it electronically a few times but she could never get all the deductions she knew about when doing it manually. Commented May 26, 2018 at 22:56
  • Have you called CRA yet? Understandable that you will want her original papers as well, given an audit history, but they should give you a base-line of available info. Does CRA recognize you as executor of her estate? That will make things easier? Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


I called up the Canadian tax agency and they did have the originals. They told me to get them I have to officially register myself as the executor of the estate. I chose not to bother since her estate is nothing but trouble.

I talked to a lawyer and they said that if I did anything as the executor of the estate then I would have to continue as executor of the estate until the estate was completely resolved. So I chose not to.


My question is, where else could they theoretically be?

Presumably the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has copies (not her copies but their copies). I have no idea how to ask for them though. You might call them and ask.

Did she have a tax advisor? Perhaps a tax advisor or lawyer helping her has the current copies.

Did she have a safe deposit box with a bank? They might be there.

If she filed her taxes electronically, they might be on her computer. Or you might get copies from the organization that did the filing (e.g. TurboTax/Intuit).

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