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Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines: The CRA and COVID-19

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian federal government and the CRA have changed their Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines for the 2019 tax year.

For individual tax returns from 2019, and for corporation payments from 2019 or 2020, as well as trust returns and installment payments, the payment deadline has been moved from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

The filing deadlines have not been changed, however, and so the CRA is urging people to file their returns without delay. There will be no late filing penalties from the CRA for a 2019 individual return or a 2019 or 2020 corporation return, or trust return, so long as it arrives by September 30, 2020.

These extensions also apply to forms T1135 and T106, as well as any schedules, forms and elections that have to come in with the return.

If anyone has existing tax debts from individual, trust and corporation income tax returns, interest is being forgiven by the CRA between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. In the case of Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) returns, the interest waiver period runs from April 1, 2020, until June 30, 2020. This does not forgive penalties and interest that had accrued before that period, but it does mean that tax debt will not increase because of additional interest charges during that period, due to the difficulties that COVID-19 is causing for Canadians.

On May 15, the government announced that eligible Canadians who receive the Canadian child benefit (CCB) and/or the GST/HST credit would keep getting those payments until September 30, 2020. If the CRA cannot assess your 2019 return for eligibility by early September 2020, any estimated credits and/or benefits will cease in October 2020, and taxpayers will have to reimburse the government for estimated amounts that were sent out beginning in July 2020.

The CRA is also extending deadlines for territorial and provincial trust, individual, corporate returns and installments. However, the CRA does not control tax in Quebec or Alberta.

The CRA is experiencing processing delays for tax returns filed on paper by individuals and recommends that taxpayers file online instead. That allows for the swifter disbursement of refunds via direct deposit and for the continuous payment of benefits and credits. It is possible to request a change via ReFILE to move to online filing, even if you have already sent in your paper return but it has not yet been processed. NETFILE certified tax software is also a possibility.

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Daniel K. Akowuah | Mortgage Professional / DLG Underwriter
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