There are calls to extend this year’s tax deadline amid a federal public service strike that some say is making it hard to file on time.
An online petition by Ottawa accountant Eric Saumure calls on Ottawa to push the filing deadline to June 15, from May 1. The Change.org site had collected more than 25,000 signatures by early afternoon Tuesday.
Saumure says the job action has reduced staff for a Canada Revenue Agency help line, forcing some callers to wait hours for help and possibly jeopardizing their ability to file on time.
He says lower-income taxpayers who don’t have an accountant would be most vulnerable to delays in reaching the CRA.
More than 150,000 federal public servants with the Public Service Alliance of Canada are on strike as union representatives negotiate with the government over wages and work flexibility.
The CRA says tax returns filed digitally will largely be processed automatically “without delay.”
It adds that the tax filing deadline has not changed and that Canadians should ensure their return is filed by May 1, along with any owed payment.
Saumure notes that a late file would incur a financial penalty if money is owed, or would delay payment in the case of a refund.
Vivian Leung of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada says taxpayers can usually find any answer they are looking for on the CRA website.
She suggests paying an expected tax debt in advance if you will file late to avoid extra financial penalties.