Written on behalf of Feigenbaum Consulting
With the nation dealing with the management of COVID-19, our blogs for the last few weeks have focused on what kind of impact the virus has had on Canadian taxpayers. Today we would like to continue that discussion by looking at how the Canada Revenue Agency is treating GST/HST payments during this time. Please note that more information is available directly from the CRA.
Fiscal Measures Taken by the CRA
The CRA has stated that they understand Canadian businesses may be experiencing difficulties that will prevent them from making GST/HST payments or remittances. As a result, they are allowing all individuals and businesses to defer any installment payments or remittances that become owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before June 2020 until the end of June. Please note that no interest will apply if payments are made by the end of June. For those with an annual reporting period, no interest will be applied to GST/HST payments made by June 30th of this year.
The CRA has asked all businesses to still file their returns on time in order to help facilitate tax compliance administration. However, penalties won’t be imposed if a return is filed late, but before June 30th.
For readers’ reference, below are the filing and payment deadlines as of this posting:
- Filing Due Date: June 1, 2020
- Payment Due Date: September 1, 2020
Self-Employed People & Their Spouses/Partners
- Filing Due Date: June 15, 2020
- Payment Due Date: September 1, 2020
- Filing Due Date: June 1, 2020 (for corporations that would normally have to file between March 18 & June 1)
- Payment Due Date: September 1, 2020 (for balances and installments normally due between March 18 & September 1)
- Filing Due Date: May 1, 2020 (for trusts with a tax year-end of December 21, 2019) or June 1, 2020 (for trusts that would have a filing due date in April or May)
- Payment Due Date: September 1, 2020 (applies to balances and installments normally due between March 18 & September 1)
When Will GST/HST Returns be Processed?
A natural follow-up question concerns whether people or businesses who are expecting a GST/HST refund can still expect to receive one. The CRA has stated that all returns filed electronically will be processed unless they require client contact or additional review. If processed electronically and a refund is owing, the refund will be paid in the normal course. In the event that a return does require additional review, those returns will not be processed until normal operations resume, and so any refund owed will be paid once that is completed. People are encouraged to log into their My Business Account to see where their return stands.
It is important to note that returns will only be processed when they are filed electronically. As a result, paper returns will not be processed until business returns to normal at the CRA. The CRA is encouraging clients to use their self-serve options such as My Business Account to view the status of their accounts in the meantime.
The CRA has said that audits will be limited with respect to individuals and small and medium businesses. Audits will only occur in high risk or exceptional cases. All other audits have been suspended for the time being.
Personal and business accounts are still accessible through the CRA website. In addition, the filing date for 2019 taxes has been moved to June 1, 2020 (June 15 for self-employed individuals and spouses). Payments for taxes are due September 1, 2020. The corporate tax filing deadline is also June 1, 2020, with a payment date of September 1.
At Feigenbaum Law, we provide legal tax expertise in the U.S. and Canada. We will continue to update our readers with how the tax situation in Canada evolves as we continue to struggle with the demands placed upon the country by COVID-19. Please check back here weekly for the latest. In the meantime, please call us at 1-877-275-4792 or reach us online for any questions related to your tax law issues.