Running a small or medium-sized business in Canada comes with various responsibilities, and one crucial aspect is managing payroll deductions and remittances. Remittance is the process of employers sending certain amounts of their employees’ wages to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as part of their tax obligations. Understanding and properly handling these financial obligations is essential to ensure compliance with Canadian tax laws and provide your employees with accurate paychecks. In this article, we will break down the basics of payroll deductions and remittances in Canada to help your business navigate this complex terrain more confidently.


In this blog we’ll cover:


  1. Canadian payroll deductions including taxes, CPP and EI
  2. CRA remittances
  3. Tools for understanding payroll deductions

What are Payroll Deductions?

Payroll deductions refer to the amounts that employers withhold from their employees' paychecks to meet various statutory requirements. These deductions typically fall into three main categories:


Income Tax

Employers are responsible for withholding federal and provincial income taxes from their employees' earnings. The exact amount to be deducted depends on the employee's taxable income and the province in which they work. You can find federal tax rates in the chart below. Visit the CRA website for provincial income tax rates or download The Ultimate 2024 Canadian Payroll Guide here.


Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Contributions

Both employees and employers are required to contribute to the CPP, which provides a retirement pension and other benefits. If you are self-employed you must also contribute. The CPP contribution rate is set by the government and is based on the employee's income, up to a maximum yearly limit. CPP contributions are only mandatory for workers 18 years or age and older. Beginning January 1, 2024, you must deduct the second additional CPP contributions (CPP2) on earnings above the annual maximum pensionable earnings. Read more about the 2024 changes to CPP contributions here.


Employment Insurance (EI) Premiums

Employees and employers must also contribute to the EI program, which provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who are unemployed or unable to work for various reasons. The EI premium rate is determined by the government and is based on the employee's insurable earnings.


Additional deductions may include union dues, pension plan contributions, and other voluntary deductions as per employment agreements.


Understanding CRA Remittances

The remittance process in Canada involves withholding payroll deductions from employees' paychecks and submitting these funds to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly, depending on your business's average monthly withholding amount. It's crucial to meet CRA's deadlines, use approved payment methods, and maintain accurate records to avoid penalties and interest charges. Before you remit you will need all of the following information:


CRA remittance checklist


Several key considerations when remitting payroll deductions to the CRA include:


  1. Reporting Frequency: Your reporting frequency for remitting source deductions to the CRA depends on your average monthly withholding amount. If your average monthly withholding is $1,000 or less, you can remit quarterly. If it's more than $1,000, you must remit monthly. If you are a new employer (whose payroll account has been open for less than 12 months), you can remit quarterly unless the CRA tells you that you must remit at a different frequency. New employers must have a monthly withholding amount of less than $1,000 and maintain a perfect compliance record on all payroll and GST/HST accounts.

  2. Remittance Deadlines: For monthly remitters, payments are due by the 15th day of the following month. For quarterly remitters, payments are due by the 15th day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter (i.e., January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15). When a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday recognized by the CRA, your payment is considered on time if the CRA receives it on or it is processed at a Canadian financial institution on or before the next business day.

  3. Penalties and Interest: Failing to meet remittance deadlines may result in penalties and interest charges. Below you will find the penalties and interest charges associated with late remittance.

    Remittance - Late filing interest charges table

  4. Payment Methods: You have several options for making remittances, including online banking, financial institutions, and Canada Post. Ensure you use the correct CRA business number and account number when making payments. As of January 1st, 2024 if your remittance amounts exceed $10,000 your payments must be made electronically. Penalties may be applied unless you cannot reasonably pay the amount electronically.

  5. Record Keeping: It's essential to maintain accurate records of payroll deductions, remittance receipts, and related documents for at least six years. This documentation may be subject to CRA audits.

  6. Remitting Additional Amounts: If you have to remit additional amounts due to corrections or adjustments, you should do so as soon as possible to avoid interest charges.

Failing to remit these deductions on time can result in penalties and interest charges, so it's crucial to stay on top of your remittance obligations.


Payroll deductions and remittances are fundamental aspects of running a small or medium-sized business in Canada. While it may seem intricate, with the right knowledge and resources, you can navigate this process effectively. Staying up to date with changes in tax laws and regulations, or seeking assistance from payroll professionals or accounting services, can help ensure your business remains compliant and your employees are paid accurately and on time.


Remember, payroll deductions and remittances are not only a legal obligation but also contribute to the well-being and financial security of your employees. By understanding and managing these aspects of your business efficiently, you can create a positive work environment and foster trust among your team members, ultimately contributing to the success and growth of your business in Canada.


Tools and Resources

For find more information on payroll, deductions, remittance, and compliance, visit our Resource Center. To simplify payroll deductions and remittances, consider using payroll software or outsourcing your payroll to a professional service provider. These tools can help calculate deductions accurately and generate the necessary reports for remittance. Additionally, the CRA provides online resources, guides, and tutorials to assist businesses in managing payroll deductions and remittances.

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