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What to Do if You Have a Large Tax Debt That You Can’t Pay

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What to Do if You Have a Large Tax Debt That You Can’t Pay

Many of us have been there; sitting with a major tax debt with no foreseeable way to pay it off. This is a common and incredibly stressful situation to find yourself in. The Canada Revenue Agency is ruthless, and when money is owed, you can’t ignore the issue. This week we discuss what you can do if the CRA is knocking on the door and you don’t have a way to pay.

First of all, what will the CRA do if you can’t pay? The CRA isn’t interested in considering why you can’t pay. Instead, they will take enforcement action as soon as they feel it is prudent. This may include a wage garnishment, a frozen bank account or even a property lien. These are serious actions that can cause significant stress financially.

Furthermore, the CRA does not require a court order to levy such enforcement action, nor are they required to notify you prior to putting one (or all) in place.

So, what can you do to deal with a large tax debt if you don’t have the funds to pay it in its entirety?

One option you may want to explore is taking advantage of the equity you have in your home. If you own your home and have paid off a significant amount, this may be easily done. However, if you don’t own your home, don’t have significant equity or have bad credit, this option likely won’t be open to you. Also, if the CRA has placed a lien on your home as a result of the tax debt, your ability to take this route is greatly reduced.

Obtaining a personal loan may also be an option. This way you can break down the large debt into manageable monthly payments. However, as with accessing home equity, if you have bad credit you may not quality or will only qualify at a very high rate of interest.

A consumer proposal or bankruptcy may be another option. These two represent an important option for those with debts aside from the tax debt. Both of these options can not only lower the overall debt, you can also stop worrying about interest accumulating. Both will also stop any current enforcement action the CRA (or any creditor) has taken against you.

The best thing to do if you have a large tax debt is to formulate a plan. A good financial consultant, hired by you – not your banker or a trustee – can help by looking in depth at your finances and examining the different scenarios that are available to deal with your tax debt.

A skilled financial consultant should understand financing options such as mortgages and lines of credit, insolvency (proposals and bankruptcies) and also CRA policy. They should be able to help you plan and administer the decided upon solution. You can also count on them to remain in your corner, protecting your interests throughout the entire process.

If you have a large tax debt and can’t pay, time is not on your side. The longer you wait to deal with it the more leverage the CRA gains.

Don’t wait. Call DebtCare today at 1-888-890-0888.



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