Tax Measures Under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Measures for trusts 

  • The filing deadline for the income tax or information return of a trust (including a specified investment flow through trust (“SIFT trust”)) whose taxation year ended December 31, 2019, was extended to May 1, 2020.
  • The filing deadline for the income tax or information return of a trust (including a SIFT trust) whose taxation year ended on a date between January 1 and March 1, 2020, was extended to June 1, 2020.
  • The filing deadline for the income tax or information return of a trust (including a SIFT trust) whose taxation year ended on a date between March 2 and May 31, 2020, has been extended to September 1, 2020.
  • The filing deadline for the tax return of a testamentary trust subject to progressive rate taxation whose taxation year ends in 2019, and whose filing due date would otherwise be after March 16, 2020, was postponed to May 1, 2020.
  • The payment[157] deadlines for trust (other than SIFT trusts) income tax, the annual registration fee related to a 2019 income tax return, or instalment payments normally due on June 15, 2020, have been extended to September 30, 2020. The payment deadlines for trust (other than SIFT trusts) income tax, or the annual registration fee related to a 2020 income tax return, have been extended to September 30, 2020.
  • The payment deadline for SIFT trusts for instalments and income tax balances that would have been due between March 17, 2020, and September 29, 2020, have been extended to September 30, 2020.

Measures for individuals 

  • The deadline to file an income tax return was postponed to June 1, 2020, for individuals whose tax return filing-due date, for the 2019 taxation year, would otherwise be April 30, 2020.
  • The deadline for filing an income tax return for the 2019 taxation year of an individual who died in that year, but before December 1, 2019, was postponed to June 1, 2020.
  • The deadline for filing an income tax return for individuals who carried on a business in 2019, or whose spouse carried on business, remains June 15, 2020.
  • The deadline to pay (i) any balance of tax due, and/or (ii) Québec Pension Plan, Québec Parental Insurance Plan, Health Service Fund, and Québec drug insurance plan contributions for the 2019 taxation year is postponed to September 1, 2020.
  • For individuals and individuals in business, the deadline[158] for paying income tax, contributions or the annual registration fee for the enterprise register related to the 2019 income tax return has been extended to September 30, 2020. Instalment payments normally due on June 15, 2020, and September 15, 2020, are now due September 30, 2020.
  • No late filing penalties will apply to income tax returns filed on or before September 30, 2020, because the deadline[159] to pay taxes owing has been extended to September 30, 2020.
  • The deadline to make instalment payments for the 2020 taxation year will be postponed to September 30, 2020.
  • The minimum withdrawal by annuitants from their RRIFs is reduced by 25% for 2020.
  • The Quebec Temporary Aid for Workers Program (“PATT”) granted a lump sum of $573 per week to eligible workers for a period of 14 days of isolation. The PATT ended on April 10, 2020, following the commencement of the federal CERB.
  • On July 15, 2020, the Government announced that it will not extend the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (“IPREW”), which applied to the period from March 15, 2020, to July 4, 2020. The IPREW provided $100 per week for up to 16 weeks to eligible essential workers, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Workers who received the IPREW cannot have received the federal CERB for the same week. However, workers were still eligible if their employer received the CEWS. Online registration remains open from May 19, 2020, to November 15, 2020. Payments cannot be used to offset outstanding debt with Revenu Québec. Where a worker makes a fraudulent claim, Revenu Québec may recover any amounts paid and apply a penalty equal to 50% of the total amount. Workers eligible for the IPREW include part-time or full-time workers in an essential service sector, who:
    • earn gross wages of $550 or less per week;
    • have an annual employment income of at least $5,000 for 2020;
    • have a total annual income of no more than $28,600 for 2020;
    • are at least 15 years old upon application; and
    • were resident in Quebec on December 31, 2019, and plan to reside in Québec throughout 2020.

    [160]

  • Requests or renewals of advanced payments from the tax credit for home-support[161] services for seniors due on or after March 17, 2020, are granted an extension to September 30, 2020. Current payments are maintained in the meantime.
  • Deadlines to submit renewal requests to the Housing Allowance Program (“PAL”) are extended by 2 months to a deadline no later than December 1, 2020.
  • On July 13, 2020, the temporary solidarity tax credit[162] measure ended[163]. Therefore, as of that date, solidarity tax credit payments may be used to repay debts, unless the debt corresponds to a tax balance payable for the 2019 taxation year for which the payment deadline was extended to September 30, 2020.
  • Taxpayers who were unable to file their 2019 income tax return before the June 1, 2020, deadline will continue to receive the solidarity tax credit[164] until September 2020, unless Revenu Québec determines that they are no longer entitled to them. The credit will be calculated based on the amounts they received in July 2019, August 2019 and September 2019. The individuals in question will receive the entire estimated amount in a single payment in July 2020. They are still required to file the 2019 income tax return and Schedule D to ensure they receive all the amounts they may be entitled to.
  • Individuals will be required to pay back the solidarity tax credit payment if they fail to file a 2019 income tax return or they have received overpayments.
  • The Tax Assistance Service – Volunteer Program[165] provides free virtual and telephone assistance with filing income tax returns. An easing of administrative regulations will allow volunteers to more easily get required authorizations from taxpayers and keep taxpayer information secure while limiting physical contact.
  • In the June 10 PR[166], the Government of Québec announced that it will reduce the single school tax rate for the period from July 2020 to June 2021 to $0.1054 per $100 of standardized property assessment.
  • In the June 29 IB[167], Revenu Québec announced that it will ease the stringent requirements of the child care expenses tax credit on those families pursuing education. The refundable tax credit is available to taxpayers who incur certain expenses related to childcare to enable themselves to work, seek work, carry on a business, or “attend a qualified educational institution”. The last option used to require physical presence, or at least a virtual presence, at a fixed or interactive time with the professor or the class, and thus excluded correspondence courses by mail or the Internet. The tax legislation will be amended to allow distanced learning. The amendment will apply to expenses incurred after December 31, 2019.
  • Individuals who are unable to pay their debt in a lump sum because of their financial situation may be able to spread their payments out over time, based on their ability to pay, until their debt and interest is paid in full. Details can be found here[168].

Despite the extension of the filing deadline, individuals should file their income tax return as soon as possible if they expect to receive an income tax refund. 

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