The federal government is offering tax relief to those who have been affected by the wildfires around Fort McMurray.

On May 6, National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced that individuals, businesses, and first responders in north-east Alberta who have been unable to file or pay their taxes on time may apply to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for relief. Applications may be made over the phone, by mail, or online.

Cancelling penalties

Lebouthillier says that all collections, audit related activities and administrative correspondence will cease immediately, and that the CRA is also cancelling all penalties and interest for individuals who have been unable to file or pay taxes because of the wildfires.

Agents are available to provide assistance to taxpayers over the telephone; they are able to request relief on the taxpayer's behalf and can also provide advice relating to lost, destroyed, or damaged records. Individuals may contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 and business callers may call 1-800-959-5525.

Tragic losses

"My thoughts go out to the individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted as a result of the wildfires in Alberta," says Lebouthillier. "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.”