New educational trust accounts reviews to help businesses with their tax obligations
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is offering educational reviews of some business’ payroll account(s) to help them better understand and meet their tax obligations, and encourage them to self-correct any errors or omissions before CRA enforcement activities occur.
What is an educational trust accounts review?
An educational trust accounts review is a new service offered by the CRA for payroll accounts, also known as trust accounts. This service will provide some businesses with information and resources to help them understand and meet their payroll obligations. This is intended as an alternative to the CRA’s traditional payroll compliance measures, such as trust accounts examinations.
During these reviews, we will:
- look at some payroll books and records
- identify and explain any discrepancies
- answer any questions you may have regarding your payroll obligations
- provide you with an opportunity to talk to, and share information with an officer from CPP/EI Rulings who will answer questions and share information on the determination of the employment status of worker(s) for Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance purposes
- provide you with information on available payroll resources
Unlike a trust accounts examination, we will only look at some samples of your books and records during these reviews, and we will not raise an assessment as a result of our findings. Instead, you will be given an opportunity to correct any identified issues with your payroll account(s), which could help you avoid traditional CRA compliance actions in the future.
If you have any general questions about your GST/HST accounts, or would like additional information to help you better understand your GST/HST obligations, you can also discuss this during these reviews. We will also notify you if you have any outstanding GST/HST returns. However, it is important to note that we will not be looking at your GST/HST books and records as part of these reviews. In the province of Quebec, GST/HST is administered by Revenu Quebec. Business owners in Quebec who have questions regarding GST/HST will be referred to Revenu Quebec for information.
How we can help
The CRA recognizes that businesses continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is committed to providing them with the support they need during this difficult time. To this end, and in line with the People First initiative, the CRA is implementing services and programs to better assist Canadians with their tax obligations.
These educational trust accounts reviews form part of this commitment. They are intended to help you, as a business, understand and properly apply tax legislation, and ensure that you are aware of your deducting, withholding, remitting, and reporting obligations when it comes to payroll.
To help protect yourself against fraud, it is important to know when and how the CRA might contact you. For more details, see Slam the scam.
What to expect as a business
You may be contacted by us via telephone or letter regarding this new service. If you choose to participate, we will need access to some of your payroll books and records. You can also provide any additional documents you would like considered as part of the educational trust accounts review.
It is possible that we may identify amounts owing or outstanding returns as a result of our review. It is important to note that you will still be required to pay any amounts owing to the CRA or file any outstanding returns.
If you would like to provide feedback on this service, see Submit service feedback.
Learn more about what to expect during an educational trust accounts review in our recorded webinars:
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