Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance Explained

How to get a ruling for Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance purposes

A CPP/EI ruling is an official decision that an authorized officer of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) makes. It confirms whether a worker is an employee or is self-employed, and whether the worker’s employment is pensionable or insurable. A ruling can also show the amount of pensionable or insurable earnings a worker has and whether the worker or payer has to pay Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and employment insurance (EI) premiums. It can also show the number of insurable hours an employee has in insurable employment.

A ruling may also include information having to do with the CRA’s other responsibilities as outlined in the webpage Administration of the Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act.

For general information about how to decide if a worker is an employee or is self-employed, see Guide RC4110, Employee or Self-employed?

Who can ask for a ruling?

  • Service Canada
  • a payer
  • a worker

A payer can ask the CRA for a ruling if the payer is not sure whether they should deduct CPP contributions and EI premiums from a worker’s pay.

A worker can ask whether CPP contributions and EI premiums should be deducted from his or her pay.

The CRA can issue a decision at any time for the administration of some of its programs.

How to ask for a ruling

Send a letter or a completed Form CPT1, Request for a Ruling as to the Status of a Worker under the Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance Act to your tax services office. For a list of offices, go to tax services offices and tax centres.

You can also ask for a ruling through My Business Account, My Account for Individuals or Represent a client. Select "Submit documents" and "I do not have a case or reference number."

Time limit to ask for a ruling

Ask for a ruling before June 30 of the year after the year the question relates to. For example, if the employment took place in 2015, ask for a ruling before June 30, 2016.

Service Canada can ask the Canada Revenue Agency for a ruling at any time.

The ruling process

When the CRA receives a request for a ruling, an authorized officer will contact the worker and the payer to discuss the working arrangement. Sometimes the officer has to ask for more information such as payroll records, copies of written contracts, or other documents.

The officer will decide whether the worker is an employee working in pensionable or insurable employment for purposes of the Canada Pension Plan, the Employment Insurance Act or both. The officer will send a ruling letter to the worker, payer or their representative, if appropriate, to inform them of the decision.

If you disagree with a ruling, you can appeal. The ruling letter explains how. For more information on how to appeal a ruling, see Booklet P133, Your Appeal Rights – Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance Coverage.

For more information

To get more information, call 1-800-959-5525.

Legislative references

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