News Release Article from  Canada Revenue Agency

Government of Canada offers tax relief to Canadians affected by wildfires in north-east Alberta

May 6, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario – Canada Revenue Agency

National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced today that tax relief will be offered to Canadians affected by the devastating wildfires currently affecting Fort McMurray and areas of north-east Alberta. When natural disasters occur, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) immediately evaluates the measures that can be taken to help Canadians. 

The Government understands that at this time, the safety and well-being of loved ones is the primary concern for those affected by the devastation of these wildfires. These individuals, businesses, and first responders may find themselves unable to file or pay taxes on time. If so, the Minister encourages them to make a request to the CRA for taxpayer relief.

The Minister’s offer of tax relief is part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to help families and communities struggling with the impacts of the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history, where wildfires have forced almost 90,000 people from their homes. In addition to taking requests for taxpayer relief over the phone, by mail, or online, the CRA has taken the following steps to help ease the burden for those affected, including: 

  • Effective immediately, ceasing all collections, audit related activities and administrative correspondence.
  • Cancelling all penalties/ interests for impacted individuals who are unable to file their tax return or pay amounts owing.
  • Designated telephone agents will be available to provide assistance to callers affected by the wildfires. Agents are able to request taxpayer relief on their behalf, and can provide advice relating to lost, destroyed, or damaged records. Individuals can contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 and business callers can call 1-800-959-5525.
  • Working with Canada Post to ensure that taxpayers expecting a tax refund or benefit payment have secure access to their mail following the suspension of delivery to Fort McMurray.  Taxpayers can visit Canada Post service alert webpage for more information.

The Prime Minister has also announced that the Government will match individual charitable donations made to the Canadian Red Cross, a registered charity, in support of disaster relief efforts in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Canadians wishing to assist those affected by the disaster can also donate to other registered charities. Consult the CRA Charities Listings to find eligible organizations.


“My thoughts go out to the individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted as a result of the wildfires in Alberta. The Government of Canada has taxpayer relief measures in place to help lessen the burdens of those affected as so many prepare to deal with the tragic loss of their homes and communities.”  

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue


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Chloé Luciani-Girouard, Press Secretary Office of the Minister of National Revenue Phone: 613-995-2960

Jelica Zdero Media Relations Canada Revenue Agency 613-952-9184

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