May 26, 2020
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, including updates current to May 22, 2020. For employment-related measures, click here.
Tax Filing Deadlines and Tax Payments
- Income tax payments (including installment payments) due on or 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 (see below) and non-resident taxes.
- Unless otherwise noted, administrative income tax actions (including returns, elections, designations and information requests) due after March 18, 2020 and before June 2020 can be deferred to June 1, 2020.
- Unless otherwise noted, administrative income tax actions (including returns, elections, designations and information requests) due in June, July or August 2020 are extended to September 1, 2020.
- The administrative income tax actions extension does not apply to payroll remittances and NR4s, trust returns (T3) or partnership returns (T5013) (see details below).
- 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.
- 2019 filing deadline extended to June 1, 2020 (June 15, 2020 for self-employed individuals); however, penalties and interest will not be applied if returns are filed and payments are made by September 1, 2020.
- CRA will allow electronic signatures for T183 authorization forms as a temporary administrative measure.
- General administrative filing extension to June 1, 2020 applies to corporations that would otherwise have a filing deadline between March 19 and May 31, 2020.
- Corporations that would otherwise have a filing deadline in June, July or August 2020 are extended to September 1, 2020.
- The extension of the filing deadline applies for all purposes, including any elections, forms and schedules that must be filed with the corporate tax return.
- There is no extension available for payroll remittances. For those taking advantage of the corporate filing extension, it will be important make all payroll remittances, including those related to year-end bonuses, in a timely manner.
- 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.
Please note that interest will continue to accrue on unpaid tax balances that were due prior to March 18, 2020. For example, a corporation with a December 31, 2019 tax year-end that had a balance-due day on March 2, 2020 will have interest accrue on its unpaid tax balance from March 3, 2020 until the balance is paid.
Trusts and Partnerships
- The filing deadline for trusts and partnerships (with non-corporate partners) with a tax year end date of December 31, 2019, are extended to May 1, 2020.
- Trusts that would otherwise have a filing due date between March 31, 2020 and May 31, 2020 are extended to June 1, 2020.
- Trusts that would otherwise have a filing due date in June, July or August 2020 are extended to September 1, 2020.
- Penalties and interest will not apply on income tax balances and installments due between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020 if returns are filed and payments are made by September 1, 2020.
- Charity information return (T3010) filing deadline is extended to December 31, 2020.
Other Measures Impacting Canadians
- Objections 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.
- 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: