Cancel or waive penalties or interest

COVID-19: Taxpayer relief

Please note that in February 2021, the Government announced targeted interest relief for Canadians who received financial assistance benefits related to COVID-19. Once individuals have filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022. This will give Canadians more time and flexibility to pay if they have an amount owing. However, taxpayers must file their tax returns by the filing deadline. Taxpayers do not need to make a request. The CRA will automatically apply the interest relief measure for individuals who meet the Eligibility criteria.

Processing delays

Under normal circumstances, the CRA aims to issue a taxpayer relief decision within 180 calendar days of receiving the request; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic there may be delays finalizing your request. The CRA is reviewing requests related to COVID-19 on a priority basis. All other requests now being assigned to an officer were received in February 2020.

The Minister may grant relief from penalty or interest when the following types of situations prevent a taxpayer from meeting their tax obligations:

  • extraordinary circumstances;
  • actions of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
  • inability to pay or financial hardship;
  • other circumstances

The topics below provide more information in respect of the Minister's discretion to provide relief from penalty or interest amounts.

Topics

Note: When an extraordinary event (e.g., natural disaster) has prevented a large number of taxpayers from meeting their tax obligations, the Minister may issue a news release to announce that special consideration will be given to providing relief, such as a waiver or cancellation of penalty and interest charges on late tax remittances or late filing of a return. In such cases, taxpayers need to make a request to get relief. CRA news releases on extraordinary events that qualify for relief can be found at News releases.

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