Did you know?
You can see your installment amount in the CRA’s My Account and make your installment payments online.
Even better, you can see your installment amount online!
To see your installment amount online, you need to login to My Account, select “View mail,” and click “Instalment.” If you don’t have My Account, you can register now, I’ve hyperlinked it for you, but understand that the registration process can take weeks.
Also, I do not recommend providing the CRA with Direct Deposit information if you have a tax liability or intend on having one any time soon as they will use that bank source to clean out your bank account… I’m just saying… If I still worked there, I would too.
Back to installments…
Don’t forget: If you signed up for online mail, you may receive an email notification for your instalment reminder from the CRA!
If you fail to make your installment payments you will be penalized by the CRA, as laid out here; http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/pymnts/nstlmnts/ntrst-eng.html.
You will be charged interest if all of the following conditions apply:
- The CRA sends you an instalment reminder in 2016 that shows an amount to pay
- you must pay by instalment in 2016
- you did not make instalment payments, or you made payments that were late or you paid less than what you had to pay
The CRA charges instalment interest on all late or insufficient instalment payments.
Instalment interest is compounded daily at the prescribed interest rate.
How the CRA determines the interest?
- The CRA calculates interest on each instalment payment that you should have paid from the day it was due to your balance due date based on the payment option that results in the least amount of interest.
- The CRA calculates the interest on each instalment you paid for the year starting from the later of the date the payment was made or January 1 up to the balance due date.
Then, they determine the interest you owe by charging the difference between a. and b., if the difference is more than $25.
You may have to pay a penalty if your instalment payments are late or less than the required amount.
The CRA apply this penalty only if your instalment interest charges for 2016 are more than $1,000.
To calculate the penalty, the CRA will determine which of the following amounts is higher:
- $1,000, or
- 25% of the instalment interest that you would have had to pay if you had not made instalment payments for 2016
Then, they subtract the higher amount from your actual instalment interest charges for 2016. Finally, they divide the difference by two and the result is your penalty. Clear as mud, eh?
For 2016, John made instalment payments that were less than he should have paid. As a result, he has $2,500 of actual instalment interest charges for 2016. If John had not made any instalment payments in 2016, his instalment interest charges would have been $3,200. Since 25% of $3,200 is $800, we subtract $1,000 (the higher amount) from $2,500. The difference is $1,500. Then, we divide $1,500 by two. John’s penalty is $750.
Now the good part!
How can you reduce your instalment interest and penalties?
You can reduce or eliminate the interest charges and penalties by overpaying your next instalment payment or by paying it early. By paying early or overpaying, you will earn instalment credit interest. This credit interest is not refundable and can only be used against any interest charges on late payments for the same tax year.
How to Pay:
Choose the electronic payment method that’s right for you:
Online banking – Through your financial institution’s online banking, add the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a payee and look for the “tax instalments” payment option.
Debit card – The CRA’s My Payment service lets you pay with your Visa® Debit or Interac® online debit card through participating financial institutions.
Pre-authorized debit – You can set up a tax payment in advance. You choose the bank account, the amount, and the date or dates of the transaction.
Credit card – You can use a third-party service provider that offers additional payment methods, including credit cards.
Carefully enter your social insurance number as your account number so the CRA can apply your payment to the intended account.
Stay connected with the CRA:
On Twitter – @CanRevAgency.
Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.
Add their RSS feeds to your feed reader.
You can also watch their tax-related videos on YouTube.