As part of the ongoing effort to assist Canadians facing negative financial effects from COVID-19, the federal government has granted an extension for filing your taxes. 


The due date for personal tax filing has been extended from April 1st to June 1st, 2020, and the deadline to pay any balance owing has been extended from April 30th to August 31st. No interest or penalties will accumulate during this period. 


What if I owe money?

Designed to assist those who are struggling financially due to decreased or lost wages, this initiative has provided some much-needed relief to those who will end up owing money on their taxes. 


If you’re in this position, you can still file your tax return now and get it out of the way. Determine the amount you’re going to owe, but don’t feel obliged to pay it until the end of the summer. The earlier you file your taxes, the more time you have to put money aside so that, when the deadline arrives, you’ll be ready. 


If you simply can’t cope with filing your taxes right now, however, you can find peace of mind in knowing that there’s a bit of breathing room this year. 


What if I’m getting a refund?

Canada Revenue Agency is continuing to process tax returns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so if you know you’re going to receive a refund, it makes sense to file now. The amount you receive, big or small, could provide you with some much-needed financial relief – so there’s no need to wait. 


It can take up to several weeks longer for hard copy returns, so it’s always better to file electronically. Also, for a speedier payment, opt for direct deposit into your bank account rather than waiting for a government-issued cheque.


Filing options

If you usually visit your tax accountant in person, not to worry, you have other options. There are many software programs available such as TurboTax or UFile, which allow you to complete your tax return online. Once popular in-office services offered by companies such as H&R Block have now moved to a drop-off tax filing process so you don’t need to have contact with anyone. 


If you’re still more comfortable dealing with your accountant, speak with him/her directly about what plans are in place in lieu of in-person appointments. 


Information on this and other government-assisted initiatives, can be found at the Government of Canada website.


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