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Can an employer pay their workers quarterly?

Expert: Jim Innes

Saj asked:

Can you pay your employees quarterly and submit deductions to Revenue Canada quarterly as well. Is there any disadvantage? An advantage would be having less paper work.

Jim Innes answered:

You are allowed to pay your employees quarterly and then remit tax the following month; however, there are a few issues you should consider depending on how large your remittances are:

  1. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) will still expect to see your monthly remittance form, even if it is all zeros.
  2. The CRA determines when and how often you remit income tax based on the amount of your average remittance for the year. They do not include those months that you have no remittance. If your average remittance is less than $15,000, then you are required to remit on the 15th of the month following the payment of a salary. If your average is between $15,000 and $50,000 you must remit twice a month on the 10 and 25.
  3. There is also the option of remitting quarterly if your average remittance would have been less than $3,000; however, you will need approval from CRA before taking this approach.

Your withholding and remittance requirements are detailed in the CRA publication "T4001 Employers' Guide - Payroll Deductions and Remittances."

About the author

Jim Innes is a Partner at Innes Klayman LLP, Chartered Accountants.

He can be contacted at: 416-590-1728, Ext 314.

His bio page can be viewed here:

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