What is a payroll account

A payroll account is an account number assigned to either an employer, a trustee or a payer of other amounts related to employment to identify themselves when dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency.

This 15-character payroll account number contains the nine-digit business number (BN). The BN is a unique federal government numbering system that identifies your business and the various accounts you maintain. The payroll account number consists of:

  • Nine-digit BN
  • Two-letter code for the type of program (for a payroll program, the letters are "RP")
  • Four-digit reference number to identify each account in a program a business may have

Depending on the type of business you have, you may need to register other types of programs accounts or open a separate payroll account. The nine-digit business number will not change, but other letters or reference numbers will be added to the BN.


A company requires a GST/HST and two payroll accounts. The account numbers would be:

Example of account numbers
Account type Account number
Business number (BN) 12345 6789
GST/HST account 12345 6789 RT 0001
Payroll account 1 12345 6789 RP 0001
Payroll account 2 12345 6789 RP 0002

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