Missing the deadline for filing 2020 taxes could have grave consequences, says federal tax agency
Given the financial complications and uncertainty that Canadians have had to face this past year, it’s hardly surprising that many Canadians are taking it slow when it comes to filing their taxes. But the Canada Revenue Agency has issued an urgent reminder for tax filers who are in danger of missing this year’s tax filing deadline.
While it recognized that some Canadians may be facing challenges with meeting their filing obligations this year, the CRA said it requires 2020 tax information to assess whether someone is eligible to receive COVID-19 related benefits such as the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).
“The CRA has implemented additional up-front verification and security measures for COVID-19 recovery benefits to help ensure that those receiving the benefits are eligible as these benefits were designed to replace income,” it said, noting that on-time filers will avoid having their recovery benefit payments paused as the agency validates their eligibility.
Under all three programs, applicants are required to have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date of application.
“If the CRA needs additional information, it may take up to eight weeks for them to process the application from the time the requested documentation is received,” the agency said.
While on-time filings can be processed in three to five business days, the agency recommends that taxpayers filing paper returns do so early as processing those returns can take 10 to 12 weeks.
In consideration of the continuing hardships Canadians are facing, multiple stakeholder groups have called for this year’s tax filing deadline to be pushed back. For its part, Quebec has extended its tax-filing deadline to the end of May.