Tax Changes for COVID-19

There are tax changes for the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently enduring. Because the virus affects all aspects of society, these tax updates are genuinely welcome. You may have noticed changes to your personal life as a result of the pandemic. One apparent change might be your income and ability to make ends meet.

In response to the COVID-19 panic, the federal government has announced the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The plan’s purpose is to ensure that Canadians survive the pandemic financially. One component of this plan is changing filing deadlines for the 2019 taxation year. This is to help individuals and businesses who owe taxes and could use some financial leeway. By delaying deadlines, people can use the money they have for basic needs. To learn more about the tax changes, continue reading below.

Summary of Tax Changes for COVID-19

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced changes to tax filings and payment dates. These changes are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is a summary of the tax changes for individuals:

  • Filing due date for the 2019 tax year extended to June 1, 2020.
  • The payment due date for the 2019 tax year extended to September 1, 2020.
  • Individuals who have passed away between January 1 and October 31, 2019: filing date extended to June 1, 2020. The payment due date extended to September 1, 2020.
  • Individuals who have passed away between November 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020: filing date is the later of June 1, 2020, or six months after death. The payment due date is September 1, 2020, or six months after death.
  • Self-employed individuals have a payment deadline of September 1, 2020. The filing date remains unchanged, June 15, 2020.

Below is a summary of the changes to corporate income tax deadlines and small businesses:

  • Filing due date for the 2019 tax year extended to June 1, 2020.
  • The payment due date for the 2019 tax year extended to September 1, 2020.

If you take advantage of the extended payment dates, you will not incur interest or penalties. The CRA will handle penalty relief for items not listed above on a case-by-case basis.

Some individuals have received a notice of assessment already. It may state that the payment deadline is April 30, 2020. This information is incorrect. Follow the updated guidelines from the CRA when making a tax payment this year.

Social Distancing and Income Tax Returns

The CRA recommends filing taxes online at the moment. This is to ensure everyone is abiding by social distancing rules. You can register for direct deposit online to receive your refund faster. This is also the fastest way to file your taxes right now. CRA employees are social distancing as well-meaning there is a delay in the physical mail review process.

To file online, you must use certified tax software. There are both free and paid options. These programs both redirect to CRA’s NETFILE website, which allows you to file online.

Currently, the CRA is incurring delays in processing paper returns. If you already filed your tax return by paper and it has not processed yet, you can refile online. If you are expecting a refund, this will help you get your money faster.

Should I File My Canadian Tax Return Now?

If you expect a tax refund this year, file your taxes now. This is especially true if you are facing unemployment due to COVID-19. You can receive your tax credit via direct deposit.

If you owe taxes this year, take advantage of the extended filing and payment due dates. Keep the money you have to preserve your finances during this time.

Other Financial Relief from the Federal Government

You may need more financial relief than your tax return. The government has announced an Economic Response Plan to COVID-19. Extra help is available as a part of this plan in addition to tax deadline changes. Below is a summary of other financial relief from the Canadian government.

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for people facing income loss.
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) for students facing income loss.
  • Mortgage payment deferral.
  • Special goods and services tax credit payment for low to medium-income families.
  • Temporary 10% wage subsidy for businesses.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for businesses.
  • And much more.

Help is Available

Unlike previous tax seasons, this has been a challenging time for everyone in various ways. If you need support, look through the Canadian government’s response plan. You can also reach out to your bank and vendors for financial relief. Help is available, but you will need to research and educate yourself on what’s out there.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by COVID-19 and the impact it’s having on your life, can help. Reach out today to speak with a professional. Consolidated Credit ensures that you will not get scammed and can help you during tough financial times!

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