What Does a CRA Agent Do If You File Late Taxes?

Just because taxes happen every year, it doesn’t make it any easier to get the paperwork together in time to file. Even when you meet the deadline, you may wonder if you’re filing correctly or over or underpaying–especially if you have a complicated tax situation. Maybe you’ve been too busy to notice the tax deadline approaching; and then passing. In the back of your mind, you’ve always wondered what a CRA agent will do if you file late taxes. For those of us in Toronto, understanding the local implications of filing late taxes can help reduce anxiety around tax season.

What Is a Tax Services CRA Agent?

The Canada Revenue Agency tax services agents help filers understand the tax system, locate critical information, and provide general help with filing taxes. It may feel like they’re the enemy, out to take away your hard-earned money. In actuality, they’re customer service agents dedicated to helping Canadians understand and follow tax laws. Toronto residents can access local CRA services and support, which can be particularly useful for navigating city-specific tax scenarios that may not be common in other regions.

CRA agents have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that they follow in every interaction to ensure the CRA treats all Canadian citizens fairly. A few items on the bill of rights worth noting:

  • Citizens have the right to pay no more or less than required by law.
  • Citizens have the right to prompt tax-related information.
  • Citizens may be represented by a person of their choosing.

Your tax information and the tax filing process should never be a mystery. You can always call the CRA to learn about your filing requirement, extensions, and deadlines.

Many individuals and businesses are too busy to spend their time waiting to speak to a CRA agent. Instead, choose a representative to handle your taxes for you–like the dedicated professionals at Leonard Tam Professional Corporation.

What Happens When You File Late Taxes?

If you missed your tax deadline, you might have nightmares about CRA tax services agents kicking down your door to take you to debtor’s prison. While the anxiety surrounding missing a tax deadline is natural, even the CRA understands that life happens. Not everyone can get their filing done on time.

Working with a tax professional can help you develop a tax strategy long before the filing deadline. These strategies maximize your return, minimize what you owe, and fill you with confidence that you’re handling your taxes ahead of time, year after year. You can avoid these consequences from filing late:

  • Compounding daily interest on owed amounts starting May 1st.
  • A late fee equal to 5% of your owed balance, plus 1% for every month late you are filing.
The penalties and fees compound if you habitually file late, increasing to 10% of your owed balance or fees, flat fines of $100, and more.

You Can Avoid Dealing with CRA Agents During Tax Season

Since the Taxpayer Bill of Rights allows you representation for your tax affairs, working with an experienced professional is the best way to avoid filing late and stressful penalties, fees, and interest.


A CPA or CFO for your individual or business taxes will work with you all year to develop a tax strategy to pay the minimum while still following the law. And they’ll ensure you never have to talk with a CRA agent on the phone. If you file late, they can even negotiate to lower your owed fines and interest.

Get a Handle on Your Taxes Before Hearing from a CRA Agent by Calling Leonard Tam Professional Corporation

We help individuals, corporations, and self-employed people take control of their taxes with confidence–even if tax deadlines have already passed. For the past 28 years, our offices have eased the guilt, anxiety, and fear that can take over your life when you don’t get taxes filed on time.

Our Toronto office understands the unique challenges faced by local businesses and individuals. We’re conveniently located to serve you better and ensure that your tax issues are handled promptly and professionally.

Sign up for a free consultation with a certified CPA and finally feel in charge of your tax situation.

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