8.1.2 Taxation rights and responsibilities

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

COVID-19: Changes to taxes and benefits

Find out about Canada Revenue Agency’s new benefits and other changes that support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the federal and provincial systems of income tax, you have both rights and responsibilities. The key responsibility is to pay the taxes you owe.

With taxes such as sales and customs taxes, someone tells you how much tax you owe and you pay it. However, income taxes use a self-assessment system. You are responsible for reporting your total income and correctly calculating the amount of tax due. You pay any taxes due or claim back any overpayment of taxes that were withheld from your income.

Under the self-assessment system, you are responsible for:

  • filing income tax and benefit returns by the deadline, normally April 30 of each year
  • paying the correct amount of tax
  • giving the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) the necessary information to assess your return and issue correct benefits
  • getting help when necessary.

You also have important rights. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights states 15 principles that the Canada Revenue Agency must follow when staffers work with the public. The principles state that you will be treated fairly under clear and established rules, and they promise high standards of service. For details, go to Canada Revenue Agency to read the complete Taxpayer Bill of Rights.


The Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman provides an independent review of complaints about taxpayer services. For details, go to the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman to read about their services.

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