KEY POINTS FOR BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS
Since the beginning of March, restrictions and measures related to COVID-19 have rapidly escalated. While the first stages focused on public health and safety, in very short order, businesses and personal finances began to be affected. It is clear that these challenges will become worse before they get better. In an effort to combat these effects, the Government of Canada released a series of financial measures in mid-March.
- Tax Return Due Date Deferral: The personal tax filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, those expecting refunds or benefits (such as the GST/HST credit, Guaranteed Income Supplement and Canada Child Benefit) should file as early as possible. The government release encourages Canadians not to delay their filings in order to ensure their income-tested benefits are accurately computed.
- Tax Payment Deferral: Taxpayers may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 (also including installments) and before September 2020. The government documents indicate that payment will be deferred “until after August 31, 2020”, which seems to imply payment will be due on September 1. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
- Tax Payment Extension: Businesses may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
- Other Payment and Filing Extensions: No comment was made about changing the filing and payments dates for payroll, GST/HST, and other non-income tax items.
- Payroll Subsidies: The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
OTHER FILINGS AND ADMINISTRATION
- Trust Filing Due Date Deferral: For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
- EFILE Signatures: CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act, as a temporary administrative measure.
*Source: Key Points – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, March 18, 2020