CRA Debt Forgiveness


You cannot pay your other government programs debt in full now.

The CRA collects amounts owed for other government programs. For a list, see debts the CRA collects.

If you cannot pay your other government programs debt in full now, you may qualify for a payment arrangement or for help under the financial hardship provisions.


Payment Arrangements

A payment arrangement is an agreement you make with the CRA. It allows you to make smaller payments over time until you have paid your entire debt including applicable interest. 


Financial Hardship Provisions

If your debt repayment makes it difficult for you to pay for housing, food, utilities and other necessities of life, you may qualify for help under the financial hardship provisions.

It is your responsibility to contact the CRA if repaying your debt is causing you financial hardship. The CRA will take your situation into account when reviewing your request.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers legislation that gives the Minister of National Revenue discretion to:

  • Cancel or waive penalties or interest
  • Accept certain late, amended, or revoked income tax elections
  • Issue a refund or make an adjustment to refund or reduce tax payable beyond the normal three-year period for an individual, a graduated rate estate, and for certain tax years, a testamentary trust

This legislation is commonly called the taxpayer relief provisions.


Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest

The Minister may grant relief from penalty or interest when the following types of situations prevent a taxpayer from meeting their tax obligations:

  • Extraordinary circumstances;
  • Actions of the CRA;
  • Inability to pay or financial hardship;
  • Other circumstances