What is a payroll program account?

A payroll program 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 program 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:

Depending on the type of business you have, you may need to register other types of programs accounts. 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, an import/export and two payroll program accounts. The account numbers would be:

Examples of accounts
Account type Account number
Business Number (BN) 12345 6789
GST/HST program account 12345 6789 RT 0001
Import/export program account 12345 6789 RM 0001
Payroll program account 1 12345 6789 RP 0001
Payroll program account 2 12345 6789 RP 0002

To find out when you need to register, see When do you have to open a payroll program account?

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