Preparing your finances for further COVID-19 escalation
There’s a chance Canadians could get some extra time to file their 2019 personal income taxes this filing season as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Canada Revenue Agency says the federal government is evaluating a number of steps it can take to alleviate financial hardship for Canadian taxpayers and businesses brought on by COVID-19, including possible changes to the personal income tax filing season, which is currently scheduled to conclude Apr. 30.
“The CRA continues to monitor the evolving situation closely, in collaboration with other government departments and agencies as well as our provincial and territorial partners,” spokesperson Dany Morin told BNN Bloomberg in an email.
In an update to Canadians Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau strongly signaled there will be flexibility.
“By the end of the week we will have more to say about changes for the upcoming tax season,” he said.
Morin, meanwhile, said the agency wants to reassure Canadians services such as benefit payments will continue and it will help support government officials throughout the pandemic.
“The approaching April 30th tax payment and filing deadlines is probably the last thing on Canadians’ minds right now. I’m hopeful that the government will announce a formal extension to the filing deadline or, if not, at least reassure Canadians that they won’t be subject to arrears interest and penalties if they are unable to pay amounts owing by the deadline or file their returns on time,” Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC, told BNN Bloomberg in an email.
Golombek added there have been a couple times in recent memory when the CRA made similar moves including offering taxpayer relief during the 2019 floods in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick and extending the filing deadline in 2015 by several days after CRA systems were affected by the Heartbleed computer virus.