Regulatory Interpretation Policy Statement

An interpretation policy is an overarching document that outlines the commitments, practices and tools to be applied by a department or agency when providing Canadians and businesses with information and guidance on regulatory obligations to be met. It also identifies the conditions under which written responses to questions will be provided.

Departmental Context

The Minister of Finance has a wide range of responsibilities under many different statutes, including direct responsibility for developing the policy and legislative framework for taxation, tariffs, and the financial sector. 

The administration and interpretation of regulations that have an impact on businesses are, however, not the responsibility of the Minister of Finance. For information about the administration and interpretation of these regulations, please refer to the appropriate agencies as follows: 

  • Regulations under the Income Tax Act and the Air Travellers Security Charge Act are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. For further information please refer to the interpretation policy of the Canada Revenue Agency (FAQs).
  • Regulations under Part IX of the Excise Tax Act that provide for the proper operation of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as regulations under the Excise Act and the Excise Act, 2001 that relate to excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products, are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency and, at the border, by the Canada Border Services Agency. For further information please refer to the interpretation policies of the Canada Revenue Agency (FAQs) and the Canada Border Services Agency (FAQs).   
  • Regulations related to tariff and import policy under the Customs Tariff and the Special Import Measures Act are administered by the Canada Border Services Agency. For further information please refer to the interpretation policy of the Canada Border Services Agency (FAQs).
  • With respect to the financial sector, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (FAQs) has an interpretation policy which applies to interpretations provided to stakeholders in respect of regulations made under legislation governing federally regulated financial institutions and pension plans that are administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

For More Information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.