Interest and penalties
If you have a balance owing for 2015, we charge compound daily interest starting May 1, 2016, on any unpaid amounts owing for 2015. This includes any balance owing if we reassess your return. In addition, we will charge you interest on the penalties starting the day after your return is due. The rate of interest we charge can change every three months. See Prescribed interest rates.
If you have amounts owing from previous years, we will continue to charge compound daily interest on those amounts. Payments you make are first applied to amounts owing from previous years.
Interest on unpaid taxes may be waived or cancelled under certain circumstances. See Taxpayer relief provisions.
If you owe tax for 2015 and do not file your return for 2015 on time, we will charge you a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2015 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.
If we charged a late-filing penalty on your return for 2012, 2013, or 2014 your late-filing penalty for 2015 may be 10% of your 2015 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2015 balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.
Even if you cannot pay your full balance owing on or before April 30, 2016, you can avoid the late-filing penalty by filing your return on time.
Repeated failure to report income penalty
If you failed to report an amount on your return for 2015 and you also failed to report an amount on your return for 2012, 2013, or 2014, you may have to pay a federal and provincial/territorial repeated failure to report income penalty. Under proposed changes, if you did not report an amount of income of $500 or more for a tax year, it will be considered a failure to report income.
As a result of the proposed changes, the federal and provincial or territorial penalties are each equal to the lesser of:
- 10% of the amount you failed to report on your return for 2015; and
- 50% of the difference between the understated tax (and/or overstated credits) related to the amount you failed to report and the amount of tax withheld related to the amount you failed to report.
However, if you voluntarily tell us about an amount you failed to report, we may waive these penalties. For more information, see Voluntary Disclosures Program.
For residents of Quebec, only the federal penalty will be applied as the provincial tax is assessed by Revenu Québec.
For non-residents and deemed residents of Canada, the provincial/territorial penalty will be applied only if provincial/territorial tax is payable.
False statements or omissions penalty
You may have to pay a penalty if you, knowingly or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence, have made a false statement or omission on your 2015 return.
The penalty is equal to the greater of:
- $100; and
- 50% of the understated tax and/or the overstated credits related to the false statement or omission.
However, if you voluntarily tell us about an amount you failed to report and/or credits you overstated, we may waive this penalty. For more information, see Voluntary Disclosures Program.
Cancel or waive penalties and interest
The CRA administers legislation, commonly called the taxpayer relief provisions, that gives the CRA discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers cannot meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control.
The CRA’s discretion to grant relief is limited to any period that ended within 10 years before the calendar year in which a request is submitted or an income tax return is filed.
For penalties, the CRA will consider your request only if it relates to a tax year or fiscal period ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2016 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2006 or later.
For interest on a balance owing for any tax year, the CRA will consider only the amounts that accrued during the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2016 must relate to interest that accrued in 2006 or later.
For more information about relief from penalties or interest, see Taxpayer relief provisions. To submit your request for relief use Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest.
Forms and publications
- General income tax and benefit package - Guide, return and schedules
- Information Circular IC07-1, Taxpayer Relief Provisions
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