COVID-19: Gov’t filings, payments and timing

With April 30 looming, it’s important to know that Canada’s regular due date for filing T1 personal income tax returns has been extended to June 1.

So, your new “looming” date on your calendar should be highlighted as June 1.

And for the 2020 tax season there is a second date to mark on your calendar, August 31. This is the deadline for payment of taxes due.

But if you are unable to pay by August 31, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will offer payment plans for not only your taxes due, but also repayment of benefits over payments and the repayment in full of other government amounts due, such as student loans.

Important to note, the government has made it clear that you must be current with your CRA filings in order to qualify for the COVID-19 benefits announced, not to mention avoiding any interruption of regular benefits you may qualify for.

The term “current” refers to the filing of your 2019 tax return, not the payment of taxes due, if any.

Here is some other information for individual and business filings that the federal government has announced regarding adjustments in activity and timing due to COVID-19.

Collections activities by CRA have been suspended, but this is not say that for those so inclined, payment plans can be set up at this time.

Relief Applications from CRA tax penalties and interest will continue to be accepted and be determined on a case by case basis.

Objection Requests regarding CRA tax rulings have been extended to June 30.

Audits underway by CRA have been suspended, and no new audits will be undertaken. This includes GST audits.

For businesses that are GST registered, reports must be filed as per the scheduled due dates but payments have been deferred to June 30.

Proprietor T1 tax returns have to be filed by the regular June 15 date, with payment deferred to August 31.

Corporate T2 tax returns that were due after March 18, have to be filed by June 1, with payment deferred to August 31.

Not deferred, with emphasis on “not.”

Payroll source deduction reports and the payment of the EI, CPP premiums and withheld taxes must be filed and paid on time. However, if a business has qualified for the 10 per cent wage subsidy program, the payment amount for the taxes withheld may be reduced as per that program’s rules.

On the provincial front, for businesses having to report and pay PST and employer health tax for periods after March 18, both the report filing due date and payment due date is September 30.

As a final consideration, if you are owed a refund, whether a personal or business refund, why not file sooner than later?

And remember, being current with CRA is vital to continuing current benefits or qualifying for new COVID-19 benefits.

At this time there are no delays in refund payments from CRA or GST, especially if you have direct deposit set up.

Ron Clarke has his MBA and is a business owner in Trail, providing accounting and tax services. Email him at ron.clarke@JBSbiz.ca. To read previous Tax Tips & Pits columns visit www.trailtimes.ca/columnists.

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