How to make payments to the Canada Revenue Agency

One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘How do I make a payment to the CRA?’

You’d think the CRA would make it easy for you to figure out how to give them your money. Turns out you’d be wrong. So here’s a quick list of the most convenient payment options you have:

1. Online Banking

Most major banks have a tax filing/payment service that enables you to quickly make payments online from your business chequing account. You’ll need your CRA business number, the applicable period for the payment, and the due date. Most services also allow you to schedule payments in advance so you don’t forget.

(We noted that every bank here stressed the ability to make payments ‘24 hours a day, 7 days a week’. Really groundbreaking stuff here folks – somehow, the banks have some crazy technology that enables 24-hour access to your online banking. Which is online. On the internet. Who knew working hours didn’t apply to the internet? It’s all thanks to your $4.50 ATM withdrawal fees that enable banks to really push the boundaries of technology like this.)

RBC – Online Tax Filing
You can use this to make payments for payroll deductions, GST/HST, corporate taxes and instalments. There’s a one-time enrolment fee of $25, and then a fee of $2 per payment.

BMO – Tax Payment and Filing Service (PFS)
There’s no enrolment fee, but standard transaction fees apply, depending on your banking plan.

CIBC – Government Payment and Filing Service
There’s no enrolment fee, but there is a $2 fee per payment.

TD – Tax Payment & Filing Service
No enrolment fee, $2 per transaction

ScotiaBank Government Tax Payment
There’s no enrolment fees, and depending on your banking plan, you’ll either pay $2 per transaction or the payment is included in your monthly fee.

We wouldn’t dare call ourselves accountants if we didn’t put all that data into a table. So that’s exactly what we did:

Bank – Service Name

Payments

Enrolment Fees

Payment Fee

GST/HST Payroll Corp Tax
RBC – Online Tax Filing $25 (Really, RBC?) $2
BMO – Tax Payment and Filing Service (PFS)
CIBC – Government Payment and Filing Service $2
TD – Tax Payment & Filing Service $2
ScotiaBank – Government Tax Payment

2. CRA My Payment

CRA’s My Payment service enables you to use your Interac or Visa Debit card from your bank/credit union to make payments directly on CRA’s website. You can pay pretty much any kind of tax, including GST/HST, payroll source deductions, corporate tax instalments as well as personal taxes. Note that the transaction dollar limits on your debit card will apply, so large payments will need to be broken down into smaller transactions.

 

3. Credit Card

Plastiq allows you to make payments to the CRA using your Amex, Visa or MasterCard. The downside is that you’ll have to pay a 2.5% service charge.

 

4. Pre-Authorized Debit

You can also make payments using a pre-authorized debit whereby the payment is automatically withdrawn from your bank account. You will need to log in to My Business Account with the CRA to set up a new agreement. If you don’t have access to My Business Account, we strongly suggest you sign up, as this will make your life so much easier. Once you sign in, under the ‘Make payments’ heading on the left navigation menu, click ‘Pre-authorized debit’. Here you can set up post-dated payments to the CRA for one-time or recurring payments. Click the blue ‘Create New Agreement’ button to get started. You’ll need your banking information (institution, transit/branch and account numbers) to complete the setup. This is a low cost and convenient method, especially with the flexible scheduling options available.

There are of course other options available such as cheque or payment in person at your financial institution for those fond of lineups, but this isn’t 1997.

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