Penalties for Filing Your Canadian Income Taxes Late

Filing Your Canadian Income Taxes Late Can Cost You Money

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Filing your Canadian income taxes late can cost you money. If you owe income tax and file your income tax return late, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will charge you a penalty and also charge interest on the unpaid amount. If you are missing information, file on time anyway to avoid penalties. You can file changes to your income tax return later.

Penalty for Filing Your Income Taxes Late

For updated information on when the income tax deadline is for the current year, check the official Government of Canada website. If you owe Canadian income tax and file your Canadian income tax return after the deadline, the CRA will charge a penalty of

  • five percent of the balance owing and
  • one percent of the balance owing for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.

If you were charged a late-filing penalty in one of the previous three years and are late filing your income taxes again, the CRA will charge a penalty of

  • ten percent of the balance owing for the current year and
  • two percent of the balance owing for each full month that your current income tax return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.

Even if you can't pay the balance owing, file your taxes on time to avoid the late penalty fee.

Interest Charges for Filing Your Income Taxes Late

In addition to the penalty for filing your Canadian income taxes late, the CRA will also charge compound daily interest

  • on any unpaid amounts owing for 2014, starting May 1, 2015, and
  • on any penalties charged, starting the day after your return is due.

The interest rates charged can change every three months.

Relief From Tax Penalties and Interest

Under exceptional circumstances, you can apply to the CRA to have income tax penalties or interest reduced or canceled. To find out more about the reasons penalties or interest may be canceled or waived, and how to request relief, see relief from Canadian tax penalties or interest.