The Document: Statement of Account

Its Purpose: To update a taxpayer or account holder on all amounts currently owing to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), including any applicable penalties and interest.

Why You’re Getting It: Because you have had an amount owing to CRA for the past few months which is currently unpaid.

Income tax, Corporate tax, Payroll or GST?

Tax accounts for an individual, his or her corporation, and his or her GST/HST account are kept separate for most purposes, and any given Statement of Account will refer to only one account.

The way to tell them apart is to look at the top of the statement to see the account number to which they refer:

If the number is your SIN, it’s a statement of your income tax owing.

If the number is a business number (BN) ending in RT0001*, it’s your GST/HST remittance owing.

If the number is a BN ending in RC0001, it’s your corporate tax owing.

If the number is a BN ending in RP0001, it’s your payroll remittance (i.e., income tax, CPP and/or EI amounts for employees) owing.

* Note: you can have several separate accounts under a single BN, in which case they will be numbered sequentially, e.g. RT0002, RT0003. The same is true of all the other business accounts.

Sometimes a Statement of Account will say something like, ‘This amount is due April 30 or other charges may apply.’ Be aware that this is not a deadline, and you aren’t necessarily in trouble if you don’t pay in full by that date. It instead refers to the interest applied to the amount owing.

Interest on amounts owed to CRA accrues daily, and so in effect they are always changing. The ‘due date’ is simply the date after which the amount will change from what is printed on the page, to a slightly higher amount with more interest.

Statements of Account are generated and sent automatically, and sometimes you will receive one after you’ve already paid your bill. This just indicates that the system that calculates and sends Statements of Account sent you the notice before the amount owing was updated.

If you’re concerned, you can always call CRA directly (1-800-959-8281 for personal income tax, or 1-800-959-5525 for business accounts) and ask for the current amount owing.