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March 27, 2020

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Federal Tax Updates and Deadlines
Tax Filing Deadlines and Payments
Other Measures
Provincial Tax Updates and Deadlines
Support for Businesses
Support for Individuals

We continue to update this information as new updates become available, but should you have questions about any of these government initiatives or programs, please contact your Smythe Partner directly.

Federal Tax Updates and Deadlines

On March 27, 2020, in response to the global pandemic resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Canada released additional measures to support Canadians.

Included in this announcement are several tax related measures. For employment-related measures, click here.

Tax Filing Deadlines and Tax Payments 

All Taxpayers

  • Income tax payments (including instalment payments) due after March 18, 2020 can be deferred to September 1, 2020. No penalties or interest will be assessed during this period.  Note this extension applies only to income tax amounts. It does not apply to remittances for taxes withheld, such as payroll, GST/HST and non-resident taxes.
  • Administrative income tax actions (including returns, elections, designations and information requests) due after March 18, 2020 can be deferred to June 1, 2020. This extension does not apply to payroll remittances and NR4s, trust returns (T3) or partnership returns (T5013).
  • NR4 information return filing deadline is extended to May 1, 2020.
  • Objection requests due March 18, 2020 or later is extended to June 30, 2020.

Individuals

  • 2019 filing deadline extended to June 1, 2020.
  • CRA will allow electronic signatures for T183 authorization forms as a temporary administrative measure.

Businesses

  • General administrative filing extension to June 1, 2020 (as noted above under All Taxpayers)
  • GST/HST remittances due between March to May 2020 are deferred to June 30, 2020
  • Customs payments for statements of accounts for March to May 2020 are deferred to June 30, 2020
  • CRA will allow electronic signatures for T183CORP authorization forms as a temporary administrative measure.

Trusts and Partnerships

  • Trust and partnership information return filing deadline is extended to May 1, 2020.

Charities

  • Charity information return (T3010) filing deadline is extended to December 31, 2020.

Other Measures Impacting Canadians  

Objections

  • Objection related to Canadians’ entitlement to benefits and credits are considered a critical services and processing by the CRA should not be delayed.
  • Objections related to other tax matters are currently held in abeyance and no collection action will be taken during this time.

Audits

  • CRA will not initiate contact with taxpayers for audits with certain exceptions.
  • No new audits are being launched, no requests for information related to existing audits, no audits will be finalized and no new reassessments will be issued during this time.

Collections and Penalties

  • Collection activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice and flexible payment arrangements will be available.
  • Taxpayers who are unable to file a return or make a payment due by the deadlines because of COVID-19 can request the cancellation of penalty and interest charged under taxpayer relief.

Support for Individuals

  • A one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the GST credit resulting in an average increase to income of $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
  • An increase to the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (“CCB”) for the 2019-2020 benefit year by $300 per child to be included in the May payment.
  • A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.
  • Reducing the minimum required withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (“RRIF”) by 25% for 2020.

Provincial Tax Updates and Deadlines

On March 23, 2020, in response to the global pandemic resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the BC Government has released its COVID-19 Action Plan: BC’s First Steps to Support People, Businesses to provide relief to people and businesses.

This Action Plan builds on the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Plan.

Support for Businesses

The following measures have been announced to support BC Businesses:

  • Employer health tax (EHT) – effective immediately, businesses with a payroll of over $500,000 can defer their EHT payments until September 30, 2020.
  • Provincial sales tax (“PST”), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax and carbon tax – tax filings and payment deadlines are extended until September 30, 2020.
  • Certain PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes – the increases to the provincial carbon tax, the new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by September 30, 2020.
  • School tax – tax for the 2020 tax year will be reduced by 50% for business (Class 6), light (Class 5) and major industry (Class 4) property classes.

Support for Individuals

The following measures have been announced to support BC Workers, Families, and Students:

  • A new BC Emergency Benefit for Workers – a tax-free $1,000 one-time payment to BC resident individuals who receive federal Employment Insurance (“EI”), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit.  The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible (such as self-employed workers).
  • BC Climate Action Tax Credit – will be increased and expanded in July 2020.  Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment.
  • BC Student Loans – freezing BC student loan payments for six months, starting March 30, 2020.
  • To assist those needing more time to pay their bills – ICBC is extending deferrals up to 90 days; and individuals dealing with job loss, illness or loss of wages due to COVID-19 may qualify for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund grant program for up to $600.

More information on provincial updates can be found here:

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