What is the 'Canada Revenue Agency - CRA'

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is a federal agency that collects taxes and administers tax laws for the Canadian government, as well as for many of Canada's provinces and territories. The Canada Revenue Agency, or Agence du revenu du Canada, also oversees a variety of social and economic benefit and incentive programs via the tax system, along with international trade legislation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Canada Revenue Agency - CRA'

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is the equivalent of the United States' Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The CRA was previously known as the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) until the decision was made to split the agency's customs and revenue activities into two separate organizations in 2003. Like the IRS, the CRA is the definitive source on current Canadian tax laws, how they are interpreted and how they are applied.The CRA collects taxes from Canadians and oversees social programs those tax dollars fund. The CRA manages many different taxes such as personal income tax, business income tax, trust income tax, partnership income and excise taxes.

The Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer is the head of the CRA and its Board of Management, consisting of 15 members, 11 of whom are nominated by the provinces and territories.

Other Canada Revenue Agency Duties

The CRA also oversees child and family benefits, including the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). This benefit is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. The CCB might include the Canadian child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs.

The Canada Revenue Agency uses information from Canadians’ income tax and benefit return to calculate the amount of CCB payments for which someone is eligible. To receive the CCB, someone must file tax returns every year, even if they did not have income in the year. Spouses and common-law partners must also file a return every year to be eligible to receive CCB payments.

The government pays the Canada Child Benefit over a 12-month period from July of one year to June of the next. Benefit payments are recalculated every July based on information from a household’s income tax and benefit returns from the previous year.

The CRA also administers the working income tax benefit (WITB), which is a refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families who are already in the workforce, and to encourage other Canadians to enter the workforce.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Regulation G

    Regulation G is a federal banking regulation governing the disclosure ...
  2. Revenue Officer

    A revenue officer is an individual who collects revenues such ...
  3. IRS Publication 597

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
  4. Income Tax

    A tax that governments impose on financial income generated by ...
  5. Canadian Securities Administrators ...

    Canadian Securities Administrators is a collective forum composed ...
  6. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    How To File A Canadian Tax Return

    The process for filing a Canadian tax return is easy and streamlined. Here is the information you need to know before filing.
  2. Taxes

    Do Canadians Really Pay More Taxes Than Americans?

    We look at the difference in tax rates and services offered on both sides of the border.
  3. Investing

    Canada: A New Frontier For Real Estate Investors

    This property market is easy to access and provides profitable opportunities.
  4. Trading

    The Canadian Dollar: What Every Forex Trader Needs To Know

    Canada is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to the U.S. dollar, making it more important in the forex market.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Is Now the Right Time to Buy Canadian Stocks?

    Learn about the Canadian stock market and why it has declined over the past five years. Understand if now is a good time to invest in Canadian stocks.
  6. Investing

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in Canada

    Learn specific information about three of the most popular and best performing ETFs that offer exposure to Canadian equity markets for U.S. investors.
  7. Insights

    Cross-Border Shopping: Bane Or Boon?

    Lower prices, better selection, lower sales tax rates and a strong Canadian dollar draw over 1.9 million Canadians over the border to shop every month.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Looking for Good Investments in Canada? Try These Stocks (BAM, CTC.A)

    Discover why investing in Canadian stocks makes sense and which Canadian companies to invest in even with oil prices at multi-year lows.
  9. Taxes

    How Tax Cuts Stimulate the Economy

    Learn the logic behind the belief that reducing government income benefits everyone.
  10. Retirement

    How Social Security Benefits Are Estimated & Taxed

    The Social Security check you'll get depends on your work history, when you start claiming a benefit and these other factors.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Do I need to file an income tax return every year?

    Understand if a person needs to file a tax return every year. Learn the benefits of filing a yearly income tax return even ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the steps to applying for a Canada Pension Plan (CPP)?

    Learn how to apply for Canada Pension Plan, part of Canada's retirement income system. Also find out about available benefits ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center