Overview of remitting source deductions

When you pay remuneration, such as salary or wages, or give a taxable benefit to a recipient, you have to take source deductions from that amount. You then have to remit these deductions to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Who has to remit source deductions?

Payers, such as employers, administrators, trustees, and financial institutions must withhold and remit source deductions when applicable.

What source deductions do you have to withhold and remit?

The source deductions you have to withhold and remit to the CRA may be any combination of:

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions;
  • employment insurance (EI) premiums; and
  • federal, provincial, or territorial income tax.

For example, if you are an employer and you pay a salary to an employee, you will generally have to deduct CPP, EI and income tax. If you are a pension plan administrator, you will have to deduct income tax but not CPP or EI.

Place of business in Quebec

If you have a place of business in Quebec, you may have to deduct Quebec Pension Plan contributions, and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) premiums and remit these to Revenu Québec. For more information, see Revenu Québec's Guide TP-1015.G-V, Guide for Employers: Source Deductions and Contributions.

Definition of "recipient", "remuneration" and "remittance"

Recipient

A recipient can include an employee, a former employee, a retiree, a non-resident individual, an EI benefit recipient, or any other person who receives income from an employer or payer.

Remuneration

The most common types of remuneration are salary, wages, commissions, taxable benefits, and pension income. However, EI benefits, certain withdrawals from registered plans, and some other types of payments are also remuneration.

Remittance

A remittance includes:

  • the source deductions you had to withhold, and
  • your share of CPP contributions and EI premiums, if applicable.

A remittance is the amount you have to send to the CRA, after paying remuneration or giving a taxable benefit to a recipient.

For information about calculating source deductions and your share of CPP and EI (if applicable), go to Calculating deductions.

Associated corporations

Associated corporation status can affect when and how often you have to remit. To see if you are an associated corporation, read the definition in the Income Tax Act.

To see how this affects you, go to What decides my remitter type?.

What happens if you do not remit your source deductions?

If you do not remit your source deductions and employer shares of CPP and EI as and when required, the CRA can take actions against you. For more information, go to Failure to pay amounts deemed to be held in trust.

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