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It was created to provide general pension information only.

A Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance (CPP/EI) ruling is an official decision made by an authorized officer of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The ruling confirms whether a worker is an employee or is self-employed and whether the worker’s employment is pensionable, insurable, or both. A ruling can also show the amount of pensionable or insurable earnings a worker has, and whether the worker or payer has to pay CPP contributions or EI premiums. In addition, it can show the number of hours of insurable employment an employee has.

A ruling may also include information on the CRA’s other responsibilities as outlined in the article, Administration of the Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act.

For information about how to decide if a worker is an employee or is self-employed, see Guide RC4110, Employee or Self-employed? and the webinar, Employee or Self-employed?

Who can ask the CRA for a ruling?

payer can ask for a ruling if they are not sure whether they should deduct CPP contributions or EI premiums from a worker’s pay.

worker can ask whether CPP contributions or EI premiums should be deducted from their pay.

Service Canada can ask for a ruling for the administration of the EI program.

The CRA can issue a ruling for the administration of some of its programs.

Time limit to ask for a ruling

A payer or worker can ask for a ruling by June 29 of the year after the year the question relates to. For example, if the employment took place in 2020, you can ask for a ruling no later than June 29, 2021.

On the other hand, Service Canada and the CRA can ask for a ruling at any time for the administration of their programs.

How to ask for a ruling

To ask for a CPP/EI ruling, you can:

  • log in to My Business Account, if you are a payer, and select “Request a CPP/EI Ruling”
  • log in to My Account, if you are a worker or a payer, and select “Request a CPP/EI Ruling” 
  • ask your authorized representative to request a ruling for you – they can log in to Represent a Client and select “Request a CPP/EI Ruling”
  • write a letter or fill out Form CPT1, Request for a CPP/EI Ruling – Employee or self-employed?, and mail it to the CPP/EI Rulings Division at the tax services office in the province or territory of your residence or place of business – see Form CPT1 for the mailing addresses

The ruling process

When the CRA receives a request for a ruling, an authorized officer contacts the worker and the payer to discuss the working arrangement. Sometimes the officer has to ask for supporting documents. These include such things as employment contracts and agreements, invoices, logs, work schedules, pay stubs, and cancelled cheques.

The officer will decide whether the worker is an employee working in pensionable or insurable employment for purposes of the CPP, the EI Act or both. The officer will then send a ruling letter to the worker and the payer or their representatives, if appropriate, to inform them of the decision.

If you disagree with a ruling, you can appeal. The ruling letter explains how. For more information , see Booklet P133, Your Appeal Rights – Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance Coverage.

For information on the possible implications of a CPP/EI ruling, go to Have you received a CPP/EI ruling?

For more information

To get more information, call 1-800-959-5525.

Legislative references