Penalty for Failure to File

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Businesses and individuals in business must periodically file a return for each consumption tax for which they are registered.

In addition, certain businesses and certain individuals in business must file RL slips and summaries annually. They may also be required to file source deductions and employer contributions returns on a regular basis.

Businesses and individuals in business that do not file their returns, RL slips or summaries are liable, under the Tax Administration Act, to a penalty for failure to file of $25 per day (up to a maximum of $2,500), in addition to late-filing penalties regarding income tax, consumption taxes and source deductions. Note that the penalty for failure to file does not apply to filing GST returns.

Note

The penalty for failure to file provided for in the Tax Administration Act may also be imposed on businesses, individuals in business or individuals who do not comply with a formal demand to provide information or documents such as:

  • returns
  • reports
  • registers
  • letters
  • statements of account
  • invoices
  • financial statements

Elections filed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Certain elections made under federal legislation apply automatically for purposes of Québec legislation. When you file such an election with the CRA, you must inform us and provide a copy of any document you sent the CRA regarding the election no later than:

  • 30 days after making the election with the CRA; or 
  • the deadline for filing the income tax return for which the election must be filed with the CRA.

If you fail to send us a copy of the documents you filed with the CRA by the deadline, you are liable to a penalty of $25 per day, up to a maximum of $2,500.

Extended deadline or modification or revocation of an election

If the CRA agrees to extend the deadline for making an election with it, or to modify or revoke a previous election, you must notify us and send us a copy of the documents you sent the CRA.

You are liable to a penalty of $100 to $5,000 for each complete month in the period beginning on the day on or before which the late, amended or revoked election should have been made and ending on the day on which the notice mentioned above is sent to us.

Clothing manufacturing industry

Note that, if you manufacture clothing or have clothing manufactured, in whole or in part, and are a QST registrant, failure to file your information return or to provide all the required information renders you liable not only to the above-mentioned penalties for failure to file but also to other penalties provided for under fiscal legislation, including a penalty of $100 for each piece of required information that you did not provide in the information return.

GST system

Under the GST system, a penalty for failure to file is charged where a return is filed late, except in the case of a zero balance or a refund. The penalty is equal to the sum of:

  • 1% of the unpaid amount; and
  • 0.25% of the unpaid amount multiplied by the number of full months (up to 12 months) for which the return is late.

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