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 as of March 1, 2022
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 and a higher than normal number of requests for relief, it could take up to 15 months to process your request. Through on-going efforts, the CRA is working diligently to address these delays.
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.
The meaning of "cancel", the meaning of "waive", the term "taxpayer".
- Circumstances that may warrant relief
Circumstances beyond your control, actions of the CRA, inability to pay, financial hardship, or other circumstances.
- Limitation period on exercising discretion and the deadline for requesting relief
Limitation period, the 10-year deadline.
Submitting your request
How to submit your request, where to send your request, the recommended form to use.
- Information you must include with your request
Your contact information, facts and reasons to support your request, documentation to send, details of your situation.
- After the CRA receives your request
Who at the CRA is authorized to approve or deny your request, contact you for clarification or missing information?
- Approval or denial of your request
Factors used in arriving at the decision, third-party actions, notifying you of the decision, your right to a second review.
- Judicial review
When and how to request judicial review, request timeframe, what the Federal Court will determine.
- Invalid requests
What is considered an invalid request?
- Requests made while an objection or appeal is in progress
What will happen to your relief request when you have also filed an objection or appeal to an assessment and the objection or appeal is still in progress?
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.
When navigating to any of the pages listed above, use the Back button of your Internet browser to return to this page to follow the steps.
Forms and publications
- RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief - Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest
- RC7288, Selected Listed Financial Institution Request for Taxpayer Relief - Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest Related to the GST/HST or the QST, or Charges Related to the QST
- IC07-1, Taxpayer Relief Provisions
- 16-3, GST/HST - Cancellation or Waiver of Penalties and/or Interest
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