Penalties

Late-filing and failure to file the T5 information return

We consider your return to be filed on time if we receive it or if it is postmarked on or before the due date.

The minimum penalty for late filing the T5 information return is $100 and the maximum penalty is $7,500. For the complete penalty structure, go to Late filing information return.

Failure to provide information on a return

Anyone who prepares an information return has to make a reasonable effort to get the necessary information, including identification numbers, from the individuals, corporations, trusts or partnerships that will receive the slips.

If you do not do this, you may be liable to a $100 penalty for each failure to comply with this requirement.

Failure to file information returns over the Internet

If you file more than 50 information returns for a calendar year and you do not file the information returns by Internet file transfer or Web Forms, you are liable to a penalty as follows:

Penalty based on the number of information returns (slips)
Number of information returns (slips) by type Penalty
51 – 250 $250
251 – 500 $500
501 – 2,500 $1,500
2,501 or more $2,500

Each slip is an information return, and the penalty we assess is based on the number of information returns filed in an incorrect way. The penalty is calculated according to the type of information return. For example, if you file 51 T5 slips and 51 T4 slips on paper, we would assess two penalties of $250, one for each type of information return.

Failure to provide an identification number

Individuals, trusts, corporations, or partnerships have to give their social insurance number (SIN), trust account number or business number (BN) on request to anyone who has to prepare an information slip for them. A person or partnership that does not do so is liable to a $100 penalty for each failure to comply with this requirement. This penalty does not apply if the person or partnership had applied for, but had not yet received, a SIN, a BN or program account number at the time the return was filed.

A person who does not have an identification number must apply for one within 15 days of the date of an information request. After receiving the identification number, the person has 15 days to provide it to the person who is preparing an information return.

Failure to provide a social insurance number (SIN) on an information return

Make sure the SIN and name you enter on the T5 slip for each recipient are correct.

If the individual does not give you his or her SIN, you have to be able to show that you made a reasonable effort to get it. For example, if you contact a recipient by mail to ask for his or her SIN, be sure to record the date of your request and keep a copy of any correspondence that relates to it. If you do not make a reasonable effort to get a SIN, you may be subject to a penalty of $100 for each failure. If you cannot get a SIN from the recipient, file your information return, without the SIN, no later than the last day of February following the calendar year to which the information return applies. If you do not, you may be subject to a penalty.

A person who does not have a SIN can apply for one at any Service Canada Centre.

For more information, see Information Circular IC82-2R, Social Insurance Number Legislation that Relates to the Preparation of Information Slips, or visit Service Canada.

Using the identification number

If you have to prepare an information return, or if you are an officer, employee, or agent of someone who does, you cannot knowingly use or communicate an identification number, or allow it to be communicated, without the written consent of the individual, taxpayer, or partnership, other than as required or authorized by law or for the purpose for which the number was provided.

If you use an identification number for unauthorized purposes, you may be guilty of an offence. If convicted, you are liable to a maximum fine of $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.

Interest

If you fail to pay an amount, we can apply interest from the day your payment was due. The interest rate we use is the prescribed rate that is determined every three months. Interest is compounded daily. We also apply interest to unpaid penalties. For the prescribed interest rates, go to Prescribed interest rates.

Cancel or waive penalties or interest

The CRA administers legislation, commonly called taxpayer relief provisions, that allows the CRA discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers cannot meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control.

The CRA’s discretion to grant relief is limited to any period that ended within 10 calendar years before the year in which a request is made.

For penalties, the CRA will consider your request only if it relates to a tax year or fiscal period ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2020 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2010 or later.

For interest on a balance owing for any tax year or fiscal period, the CRA will consider only the amounts that accrued during the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2020 must relate to interest that accrued in 2010 or later.

To make a request, fill out form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest. For more information about relief from penalties or interest and how to submit your request, go to Taxpayer relief provisions.

Notice of assessment

We will issue a notice of assessment for the T5 information return only if we apply a penalty.

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