Garnishments and Canada Revenue Agency

“I owe the tax department for unpaid taxes and I just found out that CRA garnisheed my cheque and I can’t pay my rent”.

Garnishment is a court order directing that money or property of a third party (usually wages paid by an employer) be seized to satisfy a debt owed by a debtor to a creditor.

When you fail to pay creditors the money you owe them, they may apply to court to seek a “garnishment” against you. This allows them to seize part of your salary, funds in your bank account, or other money and savings you own to repay your debt. Garnishment cannot be stopped by credit counselling or debt settlement solutions companies.

The tax department, CRA, do not need a court order to enforce a garnishment. They may collect your unpaid taxes merely by sending your employer or your bank a “Requirement to Pay.” If you get a call from a CRA collection agent, who threatens you with an income garnishment, you normally have the following options:

  1. Contact the collection agent and attempt to make arrangements with them by yourself. You should be aware that the agent has no authority to reduce the amount that you owe.  Changes to what you owe must be done through the appeal process.
  2. Contact us and either file a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy. This will immediately stop the garnishment

Whenever you have debt issues, you need to call us.  Its not too late.