COVID-19: Canada, Measures for Businesses and Individuals – 2

We’ve  prepared for you a summary of the various business and tax measures announced by the government in response to COVID-19.


As at March 27, 2020, the Federal and provincial governments announced the following tax measures in response to COVID-19, which are in addition to those already communicated in our previous bulletin. Additional details will be provided in the coming days.

Sales Tax Payments and Filings

  • Payments of GST/HST remittances and installments, the 5% GST on imported goods as well as customs duties can be deferred until June 30, 2020, without interest or penalty. However, there is no delay for the filing of the corresponding returns.
  • Payments of QST remittances and installments as well as the filing of related returns can be deferred until June 30, 2020, without interest or penalty. For Quebec based businesses filing combined GST/QST returns, it is unclear how the deferral will apply to the GST part of these returns. Additional details will be provided as they become available.

Income Tax Filings

  • The filing deadline for partnership and NR4 information returns has been extended until May 1, 2020.
  • The Federal filing deadline for information returns, forms, elections, designations and responses to information requests otherwise due on or after March 18, 2020 has been extended to June 1, 2020. It is unclear whether this relief encompasses the filing of corporate tax returns. We have noted that certain other organizations have indicated that the deadline of corporate income tax returns has been extended but we have not yet been convinced that this is in fact accurate. Additional details will be provided as they become available.
  • The Federal filing deadline for Registered Charity Information Returns otherwise due after March 17, 2020 will now be December 31, 2020.

Payroll Matters

  • Businesses must continue to remit payroll deductions. However, retroactive to March 15, 2020, qualifying businesses will be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to 75%. Additional details will be provided as they become available.
  • The Ontario EHT exemption is increasing from $490,000 to $1 Million retroactively to January 1, 2020 but will return to $490,000 on January 1, 2021. Eligibility for the EHT exemption and EHT rates remain the same, as will the filing and remittance deadlines. However, from April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to any filing or remittance deadlines that are missed.
  • Ontario WSIB premium reporting and the following related payments have been deferred until August 31, 2020
    • Monthly filers: March 31, 2020 to August 31, 2020
    • Quarterly filers: April 30, 2020 and July 31, 2020
    • Annual filers: April 30, 2020


  • The minimum required withdrawals from RRIFs will be reduced by 25% for 2020.

Tax Disputes and Debts Owing

  • The CRA will suspend audit activities in respect of new audits and requests for information related to existing audits. Furthermore, no audit will be finalized, and no reassessment will be issued until further notice.
  • Filed Objections are being held in abeyance by the CRA and no collection measures will be taken unless the objection relates to the entitlement to benefits and credits.
  • The deadline for filing a Federal Notice of Objection that would have been due after March 17, 2020 has been extended until June 30, 2020.
  • The Federal government has suspended collection activities on new debts until further notice. Flexible payment arrangements will be made available.
  • Quebec has not made any announcements with respect to audits, objections or debts.