Income tax - Voluntary Disclosures Program: Overview

  1. Introduction to VDP
  2. Overview
  3. What you need to know
  4. How to apply
  5. After you apply

Who can apply?

Most taxpayers, including individuals, employers, corporations, partnerships or trusts, can make a VDP application to correct information on a past income tax return or file a missing one.

Should you apply?

Situations when you should consider applying for relief include:

For more information about when relief may or not be considered, go to IC00-1R6, Voluntary Disclosures Program.

What do I need to initially submit?

For us to make a decision on your application, you need to submit a completed and appropriately signed Form RC199 (or equivalent letter) together with all the CRA returns, forms and schedules needed to fix the error or omission.

If after our initial review, we determine that your application is missing information and/or documentation, we may deny your application. At times, we may contact you to request the missing information/ documentation and negotiate a reply date.

Does everyone receive the same relief?

No, the type and level of relief is granted on a case by case basis.

Once the needed information is submitted (as above), a further review begins to ensure your application meets the five program conditions to qualify for relief. If it does, based on the information you provided, your application will be placed into the General Program or the Limited Program.

General Program

The General Program is intended for taxpayers who want to come forward and correct unintentional errors. If your application is accepted into the General Program, we will provide the following relief:

The interest reduction usually applies to the tax years preceding the three most recent years that you had to file a return for. Generally, the CRA will reduce the interest rate to 50% of the applicable rate for those preceding years. The full interest rate will be applied for the three most recent years of returns.

Limited Program

The Limited Program applies to taxpayers who intentionally avoided their tax obligations. If your application is accepted into the Limited Program:

What factors are considered when determining the appropriate program of relief?

In both programs, the following factors are considered:

Are there additional factors for the Limited Program?

Yes, the following are some of the additional factors considered when determining whether to accept an application into the Limited Program:

Even if your situation includes one these factors, you may still be eligible for the General Program. For example, a sophisticated taxpayer may still correct a reasonable error through the General Program.

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