How to pay your taxes for 2021

April 14, 2022by Akmin

Our tax system is complex and, understandably, its myriad rules and exceptions are a mystery to most Canadian taxpayers – and most are happy to leave it that way. There is however, one rule in the Canadian tax system which doesn’t really have any exceptions and of which most Canadian taxpayers are all too well aware. That is the rule that says individual income tax amounts owed for any tax year must be paid – in full – on or before April 30 of the following calendar year. This year, that means April 30, 2022 – although, since April 30, 2022 falls on a Saturday, the Canada Revenue Agency is providing an administrative concession by allowing taxpayers until Monday May 2 to pay their taxes without incurring any interest charges.

It is very much in the CRA’s interest to make paying taxes as simple and as straightforward as it can be and so the Agency offers individual taxpayers a wide range of choices when it comes making that payment. There are, in fact, no fewer than seven separate options available to individual residents of Canada in paying their taxes for the 2021 tax year. The first four options outlined below involve payment by electronic means, while the last three describe those available to taxpayers who would prefer to make their payments in person, or by sending a cheque to the CRA.

Pay using online banking

Millions of Canadians transact most or all of their banking using the online services of their particular financial institution. The list of financial institutions through which a payment can be made to the Canada Revenue Agency is a lengthy one (available at, and includes all of Canada’s major banks and credit unions.

The specific steps involved in making that payment will differ slightly for each financial institution, depending on how their online payment systems are configured. What’s important to remember is that the nature of the payment – i.e., current year tax return, as distinct from current year tax instalment payments – must be specified, and the taxpayer’s social insurance number must be provided, in order to ensure that the payment is credited to the correct account, for the correct taxation year.

It’s not necessary to access any particular CRA form in order to make an online payment of taxes through one’s financial institution.

Using the CRA’s My Payment

The CRA also provides an online payment service called My Payment. There is no fee charged for the service, and it’s not necessary to be registered for any of the CRA’s other online services in order to use My Payment.

What is necessary is that the taxpayer have an activated debit card with an Interac Debit, VISA Debit, or Debit MasterCard logo from a participating Canadian financial institution, as My Payment is set up to accept payment using only those cards. Anyone intending to use My Payment should also confirm that the amount of any payment to be made is within the transaction limits imposed by the particular financial institution.

A list of participating financial institutions for each type of card, and more details on this payment method, can be found at

Payment by credit card, PayPal, or Interac e-transfer

While it’s possible to pay one’s taxes using a credit card, PayPal, or Interac e-transfer, such payments can only be made through third-party service providers (that is, payments by those methods cannot be made directly to the Canada Revenue Agency), and such third party service providers will impose a fee for the service.

There are only two such service providers – Pay Simply and Plastique – listed on the CRA website, and links to each such service are available at

Payment by pre-authorized debit

It’s possible to set up a pre-authorized debit (PAD) arrangement with the CRA, authorizing the Agency to debit the account for an amount of taxes owed, on dates specified by the taxpayer.

Individuals who make instalment payments of tax throughout the year may already have such an arrangement in place and can certainly use that existing arrangement to arrange a PAD of any balance of taxes owed for the 2021 tax year. However, any such arrangement must be made at least five business days before the payment due date of May 2. A taxpayer who makes a payment of taxes only once a year is likely better off using another of the available payment methods.

There is also another option for taxpayers who have their return prepared and E-FILED by an authorized electronic filer. Such taxpayers can have that E-FILER set up a PAD agreement on their behalf in order to make a “one-time” payment for a current year tax amount owed. Such an arrangement is only for the payment of a current year tax balance, and can’t be used for other payments like instalment payments of tax. Details on how to set up a pre-authorized debit arrangement, whether for a single payment or for recurring payments, are outlined on the CRA website at

Paying in person at your financial institution

For those who don’t use online banking, or simply prefer to make a payment in person, it’s possible to pay a tax amount owed at the bank. Doing so, however, requires that the taxpayer have a specific personalized remittance form – the T7DR, Amount owing Remittance Voucher

If the taxpayer has not received the required remittance form from the Canada Revenue Agency, it’s possible to download and print that form from the CRA website. Instructions on how to do so can be found on that website at

Paying at a Canada Post outlet

All Canada Post outlets can receive payments of individual income tax balances owed, in cash or by debit card. Once again, however, it’s necessary to have a specific form to do so.

In this case, the taxpayer must have a QR code which contains the information needed for the CRA to credit the amount paid to the taxpayer’s account.

While a QR code is sometimes included on remittance forms sent to the taxpayer by the CRA, it’s also possible to generate a QR code online through the CRA website. A link to instructions on how to do so can be found on that website at

Paying by cheque

While it’s not as common anymore, it’s still possible to pay any tax balance owed on filing by cheque, as outlined on the CRA website at

Such cheques are made payable to the Receiver-General of Canada, and are mailed, together with the required remittance form, to the Canada Revenue Agency, using the address found on the back of the payment remittance form. As is the case with payments made at a financial institution, the taxpayer can print such a remittance form from the CRA’s website. Instructions on how to do so can be found at

The CRA also suggests that, where payment of taxes owing is made by cheque, the taxpayer should include his or her social insurance number on the memo line found on the front of the cheque. Doing so will help ensure that the payment is credited to the correct account.

A decision on what method to use to pay one’s taxes includes another important consideration of which most taxpayers are unaware. Under longstanding Canada Revenue Agency policy, the CRA considers that a payment is actually made on the date on which it is received by the Agency. However, depending on the payment method chosen, that date of receipt often isn’t the same day the payment is made by the taxpayer, and it can be as much as several days later. And, of course, where payment is made close to the payment deadline, that delay can mean the difference between a timely payment and one that is late and incurs interest charges.

Helpfully, the Canada Revenue Agency provides information for each payment method on how the date of receipt is determined for that particular method. That information can be found on the CRA’s website at Canada Revenue Agency

Finally, once payment has been made by any payment method, the CRA provides taxpayers with an online method for confirming that a payment has been received and applied to the taxpayer’s account. That service is available at

The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.