Correct your taxes with the Voluntary Disclosures Program
The Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) gives you a second chance to change a tax return you previously filed or to file a return that you should have filed. If you file a VDP application and it is accepted by us (the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) you will have to pay the taxes owing, plus any applicable interest. However, you would be eligible for relief from prosecution and, in some cases, from penalties that you would otherwise be required to pay.
As the majority of Canadians file and pay their taxes in full and on time, it is important that the relief provided under the VDP be fair and not reward individuals or corporations looking for a way to avoid paying their share of taxes. To ensure fairness for Canadians, applications for relief from taxpayers who intentionally avoided their tax obligations will not get the same relief as those who want to correct an unintentional error. We will also continue to reject applications in the VDP if it has already received information on a taxpayer’s (or a related taxpayer’s) potential involvement in tax non-compliance–for example, a leak of offshore financial information, or other information that names the taxpayer.
Depending on the type of disclosure you want to make, you can apply to the VDP to change your income tax filings through one of two streams, the income tax stream and the GST/HST stream.
The income tax stream covers all disclosures related to the Income Tax Act, some examples are:
- expenses claimed that were not eligible
- a failure to remit source deductions for employees (i.e. Canada Pension Plan / Quebec Pension Plan deductions)
- a failure to file an information return (i.e. T1135 Foreign Income Verification Statement), and
- underreporting of income
The GST/HST stream covers disclosures related the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax, excise tax, excise duty, the softwood lumber products export charge and the air travellers security charge. Some examples of what may be disclosed in a GST/HST application are:
- undisclosed tax liabilities
- improperly claimed input tax credits
- refunds or rebates
- unpaid tax or net tax from a previous reporting period, and
- any other amount not previously reported to the CRA
Before you apply to the VDP, make sure that your application meets the following five conditions of a valid application:
- be voluntary, which means you make it before you are aware of the CRA taking any compliance action against you or anyone related to you
- be complete, which means that you have included all relevant information and documentation (which includes all returns, forms and schedules needed to correct the error or omission)
- involve the application of a penalty (or interest for disclosures covered by the GST/HST stream)
- include information that is at least one year past due (income tax stream) or one reporting period past due (GST/HST stream) the filing due date
- include payment of the estimated tax owing
Do you have questions about making a VDP application?
If you are unsure if you want to proceed with an application, you can use our pre-disclosure discussion service to participate in preliminary discussions about your situation on an anonymous basis to get insight into the VDP process, a better understanding of the risks involved in remaining non-compliant, and the relief available under the VDP.
Pre-disclosure discussions with a CRA official are for your benefit; they are informal, non-binding, and may occur before your identity is revealed. These discussions do not constitute acceptance into the VDP and have no impact on CRA’s ability to audit, penalize, or refer a case for criminal prosecution.
To speak with a CRA official, please contact General Inquiries:
- Individuals (Canada and the United States): 1-800-959-8281
- Businesses (Canada and the United States): 1-800-959-5525
For all other telephone numbers, go to: Telephone numbers – Canada Revenue Agency.
How do you make a VDP application?
The process is easy and you can do everything yourself.
- Fill out and sign Form RC199, Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) Application, or write a letter with the same information found on the form.
- Submit your completed form and all returns, forms and schedules required to change the error or submission using the submit documents online service available through
My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client.
- Log into My Account and click on "Submit documents" on the menu of the left side of the page.
- Select "I do not have a case or reference number," and then select "Form RC199 Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) Application, or a letter with the same information."
- Upload Form RC199 or your letter, the returns, forms and schedules and provide a short file description.
- After submitting the document(s), make sure to save the case/reference number we give you on the "Submit documents – confirmation" page for your records.
- If you need to add more documents, repeat the process using the same case/reference number as many times as you need to complete your disclosure.
- Check your mail because we will send you an acknowledgement letter after it receives your disclosure submission. The letter is normally sent within two weeks and will include information about the next steps in the process.
If someone is making the application for you (such as your spouse or common-law partner, other family member, friend, or accountant), you must ensure that your application is also signed by you and that the CRA has your consent on file for that representative. To authorize someone, go to: Authorizing a Representative.
You can also send your completed Form RC199 or letter to:
The Voluntary Disclosures Program
Shawinigan National Verification and Collections Centre
4695 Shawinigan Boulevard
Shawinigan QC G9P 5H9
Or by fax:
To learn more about the VDP, go to canada.ca/taxes-voluntary-disclosures.
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