Who has to pay - Required tax instalments for individuals

Who has to pay

You may have to pay tax by instalments if your income does not have enough tax withheld or if you are self-employed, have rental or investment income, certain pension payments, or have income from more than one job.

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Factors to consider

There are 2 factors to help determine if you have to pay tax instalments:

  1. Province or territory where you live

    The province or territory where you live on December 31 determines your net tax owing for tax instalments.

    All residents (except Quebec): Option 1 of 2

    If your net tax owing is more than $3,000.

    Quebec residents: Option 2 of 2

    If your net tax owing is more than $1,800.

  2. Net tax owing

    Use the calculation chart for instalment payments for 2021 (PDF) to determine your estimated net tax owing and the total instalment amount you owe.

    You have to pay your income tax by instalments for 2021 if both apply:

    Net tax owing in 2021

    If your net tax owing is more than $3,000, or $1,800 for Quebec.

    Net tax owing in 2020 or 2019

    If your net tax owing in either 2020 or 2019 is also more than $3,000, or $1,800 for Quebec.

    If your main source of income in 2021 is from farming or fishing, you may also have to make instalment payments.

    Receiving an instalment reminder

    The CRA sends instalment reminders to people who will likely have to pay tax instalments. The reminders suggest the amount to pay and lists the calculation options.

    There are 2 instalment reminders (form INNS1) sent:

    • February reminder is for the March and June payments
    • August reminder is for the September and December payments

    You can view your instalment reminders online using My Account.

    If you received an instalment reminder in 2021, but your 2021 net tax owing is $3,000 or less ($1,800 or less for Quebec), you do not have to pay tax instalments for 2021.

    If you received an August reminder only

    You can decide to reduce or stop your instalment payments for 2021 if one of the following applies:

    • Instalments already paid this year will cover your estimated 2021 net tax owing
    • Your 2021 net tax owing will be $3,000 or less ($1,800 or less for Quebec)

    If your August reminder does not mention a March or June 2021 instalment payment, select the option that applies to you:

    • No-calculation option – Pay the amount in box 2 of your reminder for September 15 and December 15.
    • Prior-year option – Calculate your 2020 net tax owing and add any CPP contributions payable, and any voluntary EI premiums payable. Pay 75% of the total on September 15 and 25% on December 15.
    • Current-year option – Estimate your 2021 net tax owing and add any CPP contributions payable, and any voluntary EI premiums payable. Pay 75% of the total on September 15 and 25% on December 15.

    If you received an instalment reminder and are required to pay instalments, but you do not pay, you may have instalment interest and penalty charges.

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