Information about Canada's COVID-19 Response Plan

Including Tax Changes and Obligations

 

last updated March 23, 2020

 

Tax Filing Deadlines

 

Individuals

The deadline to file your income tax and benefit return will be deferred until June 1, 2020.

The deadline to pay any balance due for your individual income tax and benefit return for 2019 has been extended from April 30, 2020, to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

 

Self-employed and their spouse or common law partner

For self-employed individuals or those who have spouses or common-law partners that are self-employed, the deadline to pay any balance due for your individual income tax and benefit return has been extended

from April 30, 2020, to September 1, 2020.

 

Businesses

The deadline for businesses to pay any income tax amounts that become owing or due after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest

if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

 

PST Deferred Tax Payments

Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:

 

Employer health tax

Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax)

Carbon tax

Motor fuel tax

Tobacco tax

 

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

 

Support for Canadians and Businesses - Link for Individuals and Businesses 

 

Including the Following Changes

 

Support for people sick or quarantined: Improved access to Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit

For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

 

Support for people facing unemployment: Improved access to Employment Insurance

For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure will be in effect as of March 15, 2020.

 

The new Emergency Care Benefit: providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:

Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.

Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.

Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit:

  • by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal;
  • by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or
  • by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.

GST Tax Credit: If you’re eligible to receive the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Credit, the government is proposing to make a special payment in May which will double the maximum credit allowance for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average increase will be close to $400 for single folks, and close to $600 for couples.

 

Canada Child Benefit: The government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts by $300 a child, for the 2019-20 benefit year only. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 a child as part of their May payment.

 

RRIFs and pensions: The government is reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020 owing to the impact of volatile market conditions on retirement savings.

 

Student loans: The government is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of student loans. This will help those having challenges finding employment today. Don’t forget that you’re entitled to tax credit for interest paid on qualifying student loans. The operative word here is “paid”; you’ll have to actually pay the interest to get the tax credit.

 

Tax audits: It was also announced that the Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium-sized businesses to initiate any post-assessment GST/HST or income-tax audits for the next four weeks. For most businesses, the CRA will also temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.

 

Wage subsidies: Eligible small businesses will be entitled to a three-month wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid during that period, to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. You can claim this subsidy immediately by simply reducing your income tax payroll remittances.

 

Support women’s shelters and sexual assault centers: The Government of Canada is supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.

 

A new Indigenous Community Support Fund: The Government of Canada is providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities. 

 

Enhancing the Reaching Home initiative: Providing the Reaching Home initiative with $157.5 million to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.

 

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions on how to navigate these changes.