COVID-19: Economic Relief Measures Announced to Date

  • The CRA will defer the filing due date for 2019 tax returns until June 1, 2020, for individuals, and until May 1, 2020, for trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019.
  • Any income tax that becomes owing by the taxpayers between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020, under Part I of the Income Tax Act (ITA) will be deferred until September 1, 2020.
  • Taxpayers who are unable to file a return or make a payment by the new deadline as a result of COVID-19 can request the cancellation of penalty and interest charged to their account.
  • Additionally, unless otherwise noted by the CRA, administrative income tax actions required of taxpayers by the CRA due after March 18, 2020 can be deferred until June 1, 2020. Such actions include the filing of:
    • returns;
    • elections;
    • designations; and
    • responses to information requests.
  • This extension does not apply to prescribed forms, receipts or documents, or prescribed information, that must be filed with the Minister on or after the day specified, in respect of the form, receipt, document or information, in subsection 37(11) or paragraph (m) of the definition “investment tax credit” in subsection 127(9) of the ITA. As well, payroll deductions and related activities (except those relating to the reduction of remittances in respect of the temporary wage subsidy) must continue to be performed on time.
  • To reduce the administrative burdens, the CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the ITA on a temporary basis.
  • Free tax clinics will be held virtually on an interim basis to assist those who depend on this service while respecting physical distance guidelines. Clinics will have greater flexibility to receive and authenticate documents in various ways, including using video communication.
  • Taxpayers may deduct home office expenses under certain conditions. Additional information regarding this deduction can be found in our publication “Home Office Expenses incurred during COVID-19: Can an Employee Deduct Them?[147]
  • For more information, see the Department of Finance Canada’s press release of March 18, 2020.[148]
  • Canada Revenue Agency announced on July 27, 2020, an extension to payment deadline for current individual, corporate and trust income tax returns, including instalment payments, from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Canada Revenue Agency will also waive interest on existing tax returns from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST).
  • For more information, see the Government of Canada’s news releases of July 27, 2020.[149]

Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

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