What Payroll Errors Can Get You Into Trouble With the CRA?

Canada Revenue Agency payroll errors

As a small or new business owner you are now faced with a lot of administrative tasks.   Included in these is your obligation to the CRA, which goes beyond just your yearly tax remittance.   If you have employees then you have a set amount of rules that you must follow diligently regarding the tax department and the submission of tax withholding regarding your workers.

Payroll submission can be a little time consuming and mistakes are often made.   You need to start by learning the rules carefully then setting the time aside to fill out all of the necessary paper work that the CRA demands.   This is not a chore that you can set aside to when you get time to do it.

If you neglect your payroll responsibilities you can end up paying a penalty and/or interest as well as face other legal action.

One of the common problems that the small business owner runs into is remitting the payroll data to the CRA either later or forgetting about it all together.   Even if this data is only late by three days, a late filing penalty can be imposed.

If you fail to file your information slips which may be just a few or several you can also be penalized based on the number of slips that were late being filed.

As an employer you are required to withhold specific amounts of money from your employees that belongs to the tax department.   When you withhold this money you are holding it in trust for the CRA to be submitted according to the required dates.   This is a serious responsibility that the tax department places on you, and it is very important that you comply with the rules and regulations.

No doubt as a responsible employer you ensure that your staff receive their pay on a consistent basic and on a regular schedule.   It is just as important that you conduct your entire payroll responsibilities as required by law.

If you find that you do not have the time or expertise to complete this task then you may want to consider hiring someone that is knowledgeable in payroll on a part time basis. Another alternative is to hire a payroll service.   This will eliminate the worry of you having to fulfill this obligation personally when there are so many other demands being placed on you in regards to your business.


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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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Toronto, Ontario
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