Legal warning about collection of debt

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides notice, or legal warning, that it may start legal action against you without further notice if you do not pay your tax debt or call the CRA to make a payment arrangement. The CRA may garnish your income, garnish your bank account, seize and sell your assets, or use any other means under the laws that apply to collect the amount you owe.

Before starting legal action, the CRA must do the following:

  • make 1 attempt to give verbal legal warning by phone
  • send 1 written legal warning letter

Validity period

A legal warning is valid for 180 days. The CRA can start legal action at any time during this period even if the balance changes.

To renew a legal warning after the first 180 day period has expired without any legal action taken, the CRA is required to give only one legal warning, either verbal or written.

The legal warning period does not expire even when there is ongoing legal action.

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