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CRA gives another extension for income tax payments

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 @ 10:59 AM | By Terry Davidson

As part of its ongoing response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is once again extending the payment deadline for federal taxes and offering interest relief to those owing money.  

In a July 27 news release, the CRA announced it is now “extending the payment due date for current year individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns, including instalment payments” to Sept. 30.

The government had previously extended the payment deadline to Sept. 1, giving Canadians until then to pay what they owe without incurring interest penalties. The tax filing deadline had also been extended from the standard date of April 30 to June 1. 

A CRA spokesperson said that while standard deadlines for corporate and trust income tax returns may be different than that of individual tax returns, it was easier to simply set one date of extension for all of them. 

“Everybody got extended, including corporations, and corporations, they have different filing periods … depending on their fiscal year-end, but … everything that would have been due without the pandemic, [is] being extended to Sept. 30,” they said.

The CRA also stated it is waiving interest on existing individual, corporate and trust income tax debts from April 1 to Sept. 30 and doing the same for GST and harmonized sales tax returns.

According to the release, this “provides immediate relief to impacted taxpayers.” 

“While this measure for existing tax debts does not cancel penalties and interest already assessed on a taxpayer’s account prior to this period, it ensures that a taxpayer’s existing tax debt does not continue to grow through interest charges during this difficult time,” it states.  

Extensions notwithstanding, the CRA is encouraging people to pay as soon as possible — particularly those “receiving credits and benefits, such as the Canada Child Benefit.”

To make sure people continue to get their benefits and credits during the health crisis, the CRA temporarily suspended the interruption of such payments for those unable to file their income tax and benefit return by the June 1 deadline.

“Currently, if a 2019 individual tax return has not been assessed, the CRA is calculating benefits and/or credits for the July to September 2020 payments based on information from 2018 tax returns,” states the release. “However, if 2019 individual tax returns are not received and assessed by early September 2020, estimated benefits and/or credits will stop in October 2020 and individuals may have to repay the amounts that were issued as of July 2020.”

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