Garnishing your income and accounts – Debt collection at the CRA

In some cases when you have an unpaid debt, we can ask someone who owes you money or holds money for you to send it to us. This can be, but is not limited to:

We send these requests (called garnishments) as one of the following legal documents:

The CRA will apply the garnished amount toward your debt. We will send you a copy of any garnishment request made related to a debt you owe.

If you receive an RTP, ERTP, or DTP to garnish someone's income or accounts, refer to: How to process a garnishment from the CRA

Redirecting money owed to you by the federal government (set-offs)

If you receive or are owed money by any federal government department or agency (i.e. Service Canada), we can ask them to redirect the funds to pay your debt.

This includes, but is not limited to:

Even if you have a payment arrangement and are making regular payments, we can also use federal or provincial credits or benefits to reduce your debt, including:

Refer to: How payments are applied to offset debt

Other legal collection actions we may take

Depending on your situation, there are different legal actions we might take.

For more about how much time the CRA has to collect debts, refer to: How long a debt can be collected by the CRA

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