Canada Announces tax relief measures

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, announced today that Canadians participating in relief efforts or affected by natural disasters, who are unable to meet their tax obligations will be able to readily access tax relief measures.

“In cases such as the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well as in any other potential natural disasters, our Government is sensitive to the difficulties that individuals and businesses may encounter as a result of unpredictable natural disasters,” said Minister Ashfield. “As has been done in the past, the Canada Revenue Agency will continue to provide relief to taxpayers by giving special consideration when they are unable to meet their tax obligations due to natural disasters.”

The CRA’s taxpayer relief provisions use a balanced approach to assist taxpayers in resolving tax issues due to circumstances beyond their control. Under these provisions, taxpayers can apply to the CRA to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled in situations where they are unable to file a tax return and/or make payments on time because of a natural disaster or other circumstances. Taxpayers should submit their request in writing using form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief. The CRA will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Taxpayers who, as a result of a natural disaster, were unable to make their RRSP contributions before the yearly deadline, may request in writing, that the CRA grant relief to allow contributions made during that specific year to be considered to have been made on time.

Affected taxpayers who have any questions or concerns regarding these measures should contact the CRA at 1-800-267-5177. If calling from outside Canada and the United-States, the number is 1-613-952-3741. Collect calls will be accepted.

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