Requirement to PayIf you have had your bank account frozen by CRA through a Requirement to Pay and are wondering how they found out where you bank, well it is far easier then you may think.

Here are the top 3 ways that CRA can find out where you bank:

  1. Through your payments to them: Any time you send a payment to CRA (even if it is a joint account), they will obtain your banking information which they can use against you at a later date. Even if you have a joint account, CRA can still issue a Requirement to Pay and freeze it at any point in time.
  2. Through a financial disclosure statement: When CRA agents initially contact you to collect a debt, they will appear open to making a repayment arrangement with you. They may allow you to make a short term payment plan that you can afford, in exchange for a financial disclosure statement. The financial disclosure statement will require you to disclose where you bank.
  3. Through the “shotgun” approach: In Canada there are only 5 main banks – Royal Bank, TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, Scotia Bank and CIBC. CRA can simply send a letter to all the 5 banks’ head offices to inquire as to whether or not you have an account there.

If you owe money to CRA and know that you cannot pay in full and will need to make a monthly payment arrangement, you are going to have to take action to protect yourself if you don’t want them to obtain your banking information.

Owing money to CRA is no fun at all. Your best chance at being successful is to understand that you are dealing with a massive bureaucracy that has immense powers under federal law and infinite resources all designed to collect from taxpayers. You are going to have to be extremely careful about each and every interaction you have with them, and keep interaction with them at a bare minimum if you want to avoid life-altering enforcement action.

For more information about how to avoid having your bank account frozen or to discuss a tax problem, please visit or call 1-888-868-1400.