18 Mar 2020

In light of the current measures for countering the impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the governments of Québec and Canada has announced the following flexibility measures with respect to filing income tax returns.

Content updated on March 31, 2020.

GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA, QUEBEC & OTHER PROVINCES

INDIVIDUALS

  • The deadline for filing income tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020. For individuals in business, the filing deadline remains June 15, 2020.
  • For individuals and individuals in business, the deadline to pay balances due regarding the 2019 taxation year is extended to September 1, 2020 (federal and Quebec). This measure also applies to instalment payments due on June 15, 2020. These amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties during this period.

TRUSTS

  • The deadline for filing trusts’ income tax returns that had to be filed after March 18, 2020 (applicable to December 31, 2019 year-end in Quebec) has been extended to May 1, 2020.
  • The deadline to pay balances due regarding these tax returns is extended to September 1, 2020 (federal and Quebec). This measure also applies to instalment payments due on June 15, 2020. These amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties during this period.

Several other measures have been announced. For more details, visit the Government of Canada website and read the Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

CORPORATIONS

  • The corporate tax filing deadlines (T2) have been extended to June 1, 2020 for tax returns that were due after March 18, 2020 (federal and Quebec).
  • In Quebec, the payment of instalments and income tax due March 17, 2020 and after, has been suspended until September 1, 2020. For federal purposes, payment of amounts due March 18, 2020, has been suspended until August 31, 2020. The payment date and terms will be announced later. These amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties during this period.
  • These measures only apply to amounts that became due as of March 18, 2020 (March 17, 2020 in Quebec). Thus, a corporation having a December 31, 2019 year-end whose tax balance became due on February 29, 2020 (two months after the end of the year) is not eligible for these measures, unlike a corporation (SME) whose tax balance becomes due on March 30, 2020.
  • Revenu Quebec will accelerate the processing of requests for tax credits intended for businesses and tax refunds.

PARTNERSHIPS

  • The filing deadline for partnerships information returns (T5013 and TP-600) is extended from March 31, 2020 to May 1, 2020 (federal and Quebec).

CHARITIES

  • At the federal level, the deadline for filing any registered charity information return (T3010) that had to be filed between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020 is extended to December 31, 2020.

NR4 INFORMATION RETURNS

  • The filing deadline is postponed to May 1, 2020.

ELECTION FORMS AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OBLIGATIONS

  • The deadline for filing returns, forms, elections, designations (including rollovers and T1134s) and responses to information requests required under the ITA due after March 18, 2020 is extended to June 1, 2020 (federal and Québec).
  • For federal purposes, this deferral does not apply to prescribed forms, receipts, documents and information with respect to SR&ED claims (expenses and credits). Quebec has not announced any specific measure in this regard.

PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS

  • Payroll deductions and related activities must continue to be done on time (except for the reduction of payments relating to the temporary wage subsidy offered to SMEs in respect of income tax withholdings remittance on the salaries they paid).

GST/HST & QST

  • The federal government and Quebec have extended to June 30, 2020 the time that :
    • Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
    • Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period;
    • Annual filers, whose returns or instalments are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
  • This measure is also applicable to custom duty payments.
  • In Quebec, the deferral applies both to the payment and the filing of QST returns.
  • No relief was announced regarding the Quebec insurance tax.

It is unclear whether the deadline for filing GST/HST return is postponed. The federal government only mentioned payment, but Revenu Québec states, in its Information Bulletin 2020-5, that “The federal government has announced today that it is postponing the deadline for filing GST/HST returns and the attendant payments payable during the period starting March 27, 2020 and until June 1, 2020. In such cases, the deadline is postponed to June 30, 2020.” We are monitoring the situation and we will update this document if the federal government publishes clear instructions in this regard.

PROVINCES OTHER THAN QUÉBEC

  • The payment extensions announced at the federal level will apply to provincial income tax in those provinces where the federal government collects tax, i.e. in provinces other than Québec and Alberta. This latter province has announced that corporate income tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020.

TAX AUDITS

  • The CRA will not contact any SME businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or income tax audits until mid-April. For the vast majority of businesses, the CRA will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
  • Revenu Québec is suspending all tax audit and collection activities and the organization will show greater flexibility in respect of payment agreements for tax debts.

COLLECTION

  • CRA is suspending collection activities on new debts; collection staff will address pre-existing situations on a case-by-case basis to prevent financial hardship. Revenu Quebec is suspending all collection activities.
  • CRA and Revenu Quebec will offer flexible payment arrangements to taxpayers.
  • At the federal level, a taxpayer that is prevented from making a payment when due, filing a return on time, or otherwise complying with a tax obligation because of circumstances beyond their control, can submit a request to cancel penalties and interest.

OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS

  • At the federal level, any objection related to benefits and credits identified as a critical service will continue as usual. Objections related to other tax matters filed by individuals and businesses are suspended. No collection action will be taken with respect to these accounts during this period of time.
  • The Tax Court of Canada is closed until March 30, 2020. All timelines prescribed for appeals are extended.

TAX PREPARERS

  • Revenu Québec and the CRA have confirmed that they will allow tax preparers to use an electronic signature on Electronic filing authorization forms (TP-1000.TE-V for individuals and CO-1000.TE for corporations in Quebec and Federal Form T183).

For more information, you can consult Revenu Québec’s website..

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16 Mar 2020

In this time of crisis associated with the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the impact on organizations is already being felt on several levels.

Immediate measures must be put in place to protect the health of all those around and within the organization. Decisions must be made in anticipation of the coming months, particularly with respect to planning the various possible financial scenarios, implementing technological systems or new business models or managing human resources over the medium and long term.

We offer organizations in all industries leading-edge services in business continuity planning. Our team of experts, with recognized crisis management experience, can guide you through the steps to be taken from a strategic and operational standpoint.

To help you deal with this global threat, our specialists can assist you, among others, in:

  • The current situation with the pandemic;
  • Human resources management, including preventive health and safety measures and availability management;
  • Managing procurement chains;
  • Technology considerations and cybersecurity;
  • Legal considerations and contractual obligations;
  • Third-party relationships (suppliers, customers, etc.);
  • Communication.

Contact us today and ensure your business’s continuity.

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13 Mar 2020

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is committed to ensure the health and safety of its community. The firm has therefore implemented preventive measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread. We are following the recommendations made by our governments’ health and safety authorities, in order to protect our clients and employees.

Looking after your needs is our top priority. With this in mind, we want to assure you that we have implemented all the necessary measures to continue to serve our clients at the highest level.

The following are the measures we have put in place to better serve you.

Meetings

  • While we prefer to meet you in person, the current situation forces us to restrict our gatherings. That said, we will customize our approach according to your needs.
  • Please know that currently, we prefer to have telephone meetings and videoconferences.
  • We will continue our operations and meetings with our clients while limiting the number of gatherings.
  • Of course, we will continue to greet you with a smile, but as advised, we will avoid handshakes.
  • In the event of an office shutdown, we want to assure you that thanks to our robust and highly secure IT structure, our service teams will be available to assist you with your business needs.
  • To assist you, please know that you can pay your bills online through e-transfer or through your banking institution’s website.

Important information for clients during tax season

The tax season is an important time when numerous documents are exchanged. In our ongoing effort to implement preventive measures, we ask that you email the documents required for filing your income tax returns.

If you do not have email, we have placed boxes to deposit your documents in the reception area of all our RCGT offices.

Please note the following:

  • It is important to indicate your RCGT contact on the envelope.
  • Your documents will be forwarded to your RCGT contact within 24 hours.

Once your tax returns have been finalized, they will be emailed or mailed, as per your request. You will then be informed on the procedures to follow in order to sign the documents, which can be done electronically. You will receive an acceptance confirmation email for the documents to be sent to the different governments.

Important notice: The federal and provincial governments announced new flexibility measures for individuals and businesses.

Sharing of Documents

In preparing your financial statements, as well as for any other need, we are recommending that you send us your documents securely and confidentially through ClientAccess. To learn more, please contact your partner in charge.

Conferences and other events

Conferences, networking and other scheduled events have been postponed. We are following the authorities’ recommendations in this regard and are monitoring the situation very closely. Once resolved, we will be sure to notify you. In the meantime, for your information, several insights and webinars are available.

Recommended preventive measures for our clients

Implementing basic measures and having a contingency plan at the ready will ensure your employees’ health and safety, as well as reduce the impact on your long-term productivity. Please contact our advisors to assist you with your planning.

Useful resources

In closing, please find a few useful resources on COVID-19 to help dispel any myths about the situation, and to provide you with preventive measures.

Gouvernement du Québec – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – FAQs

Although the situation is fast evolving, our commitment remains strong. We have been supporting our clients for more than 70 years and share a business relationship with you that is dear to our heart.

All our professionals are available to assist you with any of your business needs.

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11 Mar 2020

2020-2021 Quebec Budget: Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Would Have Liked to See More Tax Relief for Businesses

QUÉBEC CITY, March 10, 2020 – Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton expressed its opinion on the Quebec budget tabled today and published its tax bulletin that was drafted today by a team of tax experts present at the lock-up in Québec City.

The firm welcomes François Legault’s government second budget and appreciates the measures aimed at protecting the environment with the $6.2B electrification and climate change framework policy over six years, investing more massively in education with additional funding of $1.5B between now and 2025, and supporting investments, innovations and improved business productivity with more than $1B.

However, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton would have expected a greater reduction in the corporate tax burden and more convincing support for entrepreneurial succession, two key elements for ensuring the sustainability of Quebec’s economic drivers.

A fair, incentive-based tax system!

For several years now, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has been calling for a review of the Quebec and Canadian tax systems. Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO stated: “In addition to having lost its advantage over the U.S. since the President’s corporate tax reform, our small business tax system is outdated, and the corporate tax burden is too high. To give a real boost to our businesses, it would have been better, even necessary, to reduce the general corporate tax rate to keep it at a more attractive level compared to the United States and review corporate and family taxation, which includes several unfair provisions that are not suited to today’s realities.”

Appropriate measures for business growth

The budget contains key announcements for the economy and its businesses that the firm would like to highlight, specifically as it relates to the new tax credit for investment and innovation, the C3i. Tax Partner, Luc Lacombe said: “This $525M tax support over five years is an excellent way to accelerate the purchase of equipment in order to allow businesses to innovate and remain more competitive. In addition, the incentive deduction for the commercialization of innovations (IDCI) is good news for reducing income taxes on products developed and marketed using Quebec corporations’ intellectual property. The synergy capital tax credit is also a significant measure for businesses that want to support innovative enterprises’ growth. This credit is equal to 30% of the investment value up to $750,000. Moreover, funding announced for regional economic development of close to $1B between now and 2025, including $316 million for the tourism sector, is also a strong budget provision to ensure a strong and prosperous Quebec.

Doing more in immigration, a key to Quebec’s success

Despite these announced measures to better integrate immigrants into the labour market, there is still work to be done such as provide foreign workers quickly and effectively. Marc Audet, President of AURAY Sourcing, a subsidiary of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton stated: “The Quebec government must streamline the administrative aspects for temporary workers by simplifying the conditions and procedures faced by SMEs in recruiting labour. The budget is providing $10M to attract the most qualified foreign talent to Quebec. Employers’ efforts to recruit internationally would require more convincing government assistance.”

Marc Audet added: “The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program needs to be maintained, in a renewed format, because of the positive spin-offs for the Quebec economy, both in terms of the candidates’ profile and their contribution to financing business projects and government programs. We sincerely hope that the program’s suspension will not last too long, allowing Quebec to maintain its leadership with this globally coveted clientele particularly as a result of strategic partnerships developed between various government departments and the private sector.”

Going beyond entrepreneurial intentions and approaches

If Quebec wants more owners, and consequently more businesses, the ownership rate must increase, rather than decrease, as is currently the case. Éric Dufour, Regional Vice-President and National Business Transfer Leader stated: “New entrepreneurs need to move from intent to start-up and therefore need to have a better understanding of all the government support programs available to them. The success of Quebec’s entrepreneurial succession also depends on businesses’ ability to develop a formal, written succession plan and on greater financial support from the government to ensure that leaders are accompanied by professionals. We reiterate that, in order to ensure the effective implementation of succession plans—an essential condition for the success of business transfers—the Quebec government must develop new mechanisms particularly as it relates to the certification of professionals and accreditation of succession plans.”

Imbriglio stated: “The budget contains some sound measures for our economic drivers. However, the tax burden on businesses remains high, and the economic environment could be difficult. In 2021, the Quebec government is forecasting a balanced budget, after the payment to the Generations Fund. Let’s hope that our companies’ perform according to their ambitions and that our public finances remain healthy.”

Please consult Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s pre-budget recommendations submitted to the Canada and Quebec Finance Ministers.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a professional services firm dedicated to the success of organizations and their leaders since 1948. The firm’s advisors are committed to helping clients thrive by obtaining a deep understanding of what is important to them, their business and their industry. This knowledge, combined with a team of motivated and talented professionals, helps accelerate growth. A Quebec and Canadian leader in the areas of assurance, tax, advisory services and business recovery and reorganization, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton relies on a team of more than 2,800 professionals, including approximately 200 partners, working in over 100 offices across the province and in the Ottawa and Edmundston regions.

Together with Grant Thornton LLP, another Canadian firm, and the Grant Thornton global organization, our global footprint spans across more than 140 countries with over 56,000 people who provide real insight, a fresh perspective and agility to keep clients moving ahead.

Source:

Francis Letendre
Head, Public Affairs
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel: 514-390-4201
Email: [email protected]