Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is being updated frequently. For the most up to date information follow this link:  https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

On March 25th, Ontario’s Ministry of Finance released its Economic and Fiscal Update.  This update outlined increased health care funding and various measures for assisting individuals in response to COVID-19, along with providing additional tax relief measures.  Highlights of tax relief include deferral of Ontario-administered taxes, with Employer Health Tax (EHT) and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums as examples, and increasing the EHT exemption limit temporarily for 2020 to $1 million (from $490,000).  This tax deferral will mirror some of the federal relief measures announced recently, deferring applicable taxes and premiums until August 31, 2020, with interest and penalties also waived for these deferred taxes and premiums.
More details, including additional taxes and premiums eligible for this relief, can be found at: https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/annex.html

Personal Tax & Returns

  • Filing deadline for individuals for 2019 T1s will be extended from April 30th to June 1st
    • No indication of any extension for those who have a June 15th deadline
  • Payments will be deferred as well for any taxes (including balances due and instalments) that would normally be owing from today to August 31, 2020 will be deferred to August 31st without any interest or penalties accumulating during that time

Corporate Tax & Returns

  • Finance’s announcement is silent on filing deadlines for corporate taxes, so this still may be an area of concern for filings – particularly September 30, 2019 year ends which would be due March 31, 2020
  • Payments will be deferred as well any taxes (including balances due and instalments) that would normally be owing from today to August 31, 2020 will be deferred to August 31st without any interest or penalties accumulating during that time
  • CRA will not initiate new GST/HST or income tax audits for the next 4 weeks for small or medium businesses
    • CRA will also temporarily suspend audit interaction with the vast majority of businesses, but no indication of timeline or who would (or would not) be included in this suspension

Trust Returns

  • Filing deadline for 2019 T3 returns for trusts with December 31, 2019 year ends will be extended from March 30th to May 1st
    • Note that this should apply to nearly all family trusts and many testamentary trusts, but may not apply to off-calendar trusts (some other testamentary)
  • Payments will be deferred as well for any taxes (including balances due and instalments) that would normally be owing from today to August 31, 2020 will be deferred to August 31st without any interest or penalties accumulating during that time; though balances owing is less frequent for trusts

Other

  • As an update, further tax relief deadline extensions have been provided, including extending deadlines for T5013 (partnership return) and NR4 (statement of amounts paid or credited to non-residents) from March 31, 2020 to May 1, 2020.
  • GST/HST filing deadlines and remittances have also been extended for due dates after March 18, 2020 with new deadline extended to June 30, 2020.
  • Thus far, no deferral has been put forth for payroll and withholding payments, rather relief in the form of wage subsidies is being provided to businesses and organizations who qualify

We will continue to monitor announcements relating to these deadlines and provide further updates as new information is received.

 

Shawn Deyell, Partner