After you apply
If we need more information
Once the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has started reviewing your request, we may contact you if we need help understanding what you provided, or to get any missing information.
If we request additional supporting documents, you can submit them through My Account or My Business Account. Go to Submit documents online, for more information.
Factors we use to make our decision
When circumstances beyond your control, actions by the CRA, an inability to pay, or financial hardship prevent you from meeting your tax obligations, the CRA will look at the following when determining whether to cancel or waive penalties and interest:
- your tax return filing and payment history
- if you knowingly let a balance owing exist which resulted in additional interest
- if you took reasonable care in managing your tax affairs
- if you acted quickly to correct any delay or omission
How long it will take
Taxpayers or their representatives can stay up to date with the status of their requests for relief of penalties and interest by using the Progress Tracker tool. To view the status of your request, go to "Progress Tracker" on the Overview page in your CRA My Account or Represent a client Account.
Note: If you have filed a request to cancel penalties and interest for a return that is either under objection or appeal, a final decision about the request for relief will generally not be made until the objection or appeal is resolved or until all rights of appeal have expired. A request to cancel penalties and interest based on your circumstances (extraordinary or other) or actions of the CRA for an assessment under objection or appeal may be reviewed and an informal decision may be communicated to the taxpayer.
If your request for relief is approved
If the CRA approves your request for relief, the following may happen:
- your amount owing may be reduced
- a refund may be issued
However, depending on whether you paid, or partially paid any penalties and interest amounts, or whether you have debts from other tax years or other related tax accounts, the following could happen:
- your refund could be applied to other debts
- your refund could be held until you file any past due returns
To find out more about the rules around credits and refunds, refer to: Information Circular IC07-1R1 (paragraphs 90 to 99)
If you disagree with our decision
If you believe our decision was not fair and reasonable, there are recourse options available to you.
Second administrative review
You may ask for a second review online. Go to Submit your request for more information. Alternatively, you can send a letter to one of the following:
- the address provided in the decision letter you received
- the designated office responsible for your province or territory of residence
A second review request requires the following:
- the reasons why you disagree with the CRA's decision, for example, not all information was considered, certain facts or details were missing or misinterpreted or not considered in their proper context
- any relevant new documents, new facts, or correspondence
In order for the CRA to remain impartial and transparent, the official who completed the first review will not conduct the second review.
If, after the second review, you feel that we were not fair and reasonable, you can apply to the Federal Court for a judicial review of our decision. You must do this within 30 calendar days of the date you received the decision from the second administrative review.
Requestion for remission review
If we deny your request to cancel or waive penalties and interest, you may be able to make a remission request.
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