Most taxpayers pay on time!
Of individuals over the age of 18 who owe tax, 94.5% pay their taxes on time.
Canada has one of the highest rates of collections compliance in the world, and the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA’s) collection activities help fund public goods and services to support Canadians. It’s important that we all pay our share. Unpaid taxes mean fewer funds for important programs and services supported by the Federal Government including health care, childcare, employment insurance, and urban and rural infrastructure projects, to name a few. The quality of life that all Canadians enjoy is supported by the taxes we pay.
The CRA helps to make it easier for individuals, businesses, and other organizations to meet their tax obligations and pay their outstanding debt. The CRA works with individuals and businesses who owe money to resolve their tax debt. Those who do not pay in full and on time or do not work collaboratively on resolving their debt with the CRA can be subject to legal actions.
Debts the CRA collects
The CRA collects amounts owed for tax programs (for example, goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax [GST/HST]) and other government programs (for example, defaulted Canada Student Loans).
Tax and other government program debts collected by the CRA
When you owe
Any amount you owe is payable in full as soon as you are notified that you have been assessed or reassessed. The CRA makes it easy for you to make a payment online; you can make your payment anytime, from anywhere.
Where applicable, the CRA charges interest at the prescribed rate on any amount owing until the balance is paid in full.
What if I want to pay in full?
Paying at once and in full helps you avoid penalties, interest, and other legal and financial consequences. The CRA encourages individuals and businesses to meet their tax obligations and get their benefit entitlements without our intervention. Using e-services to file makes it even easier for you!
Pay your tax debt Pay your other government program debt
What if I cannot pay in full now?
If you cannot pay the full amount you owe, take action right away. Ignoring your debt does not make it go away. In fact, waiting may make any financial or legal consequences more serious.
You may qualify for one of the programs below that help individuals and businesses meet their obligations without causing additional hardship.
I cannot pay my whole tax debt now I cannot pay my whole government program debt now
If you feel you are insolvent or are considering bankruptcy as a possible solution to your outstanding debt, you may want to visit the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy website for more information.
What if I do not pay and do not cooperate with the CRA?
If you do not pay your debt in full and on time, the CRA can use a variety of tools to recover the money you owe. These recovery options, as described below, may result in serious financial or legal consequences for you. Once legal proceedings have begun, the CRA will not usually withdraw them until the account is paid in full, or it can be shown that the action is causing undue hardship.
Detaxers and tax protesters are wrong to say that you can lawfully:
- refuse to pay tax and other amounts that are owed to a government
- refuse to file an income tax and benefit return
- claim amounts from a government as a sovereign citizen
Do not be misled by such false ideas. And to avoid penalties, please pay any balance that you owe to the Receiver General for Canada.
If you do not pay your taxes If you do not pay your other government debt
For detailed information on how the CRA collects, see the following information circulars:
IC98-1R4, Tax Collection Policies
IC13-2R1 – Government programs collections policies
IC13-3 – Customs collections policies
To talk to an agent about your debt, or for more information on our collection policy, you can call us at the following numbers:
- For individual tax debt: 1-888-863-8657
- For GST/HST debt: 1-877-477-5068
- For payroll tax debt: 1-877-548-6016
- For corporation tax debt: 1-866-291-6346
Other government program debt
For other government program debt: 1-866-864-5823“