Canada

2021 tax season has officially launched

TAX ALERT  | 

February 22 marked the official launch of the 2021 tax season, and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) introduced several welcome measures aimed at ensuring an efficient and fair experience for taxpayers in light of an unprecedented 2020.   

These measures include:

  • Adding additional call centre agents and extending call hours at various locations across the country to increase call centre capacity and alleviate the significant wait times many Canadians are facing when calling the CRA; 
  • Providing targeted interest relief and more time and flexibility for Canadians to pay tax debts where they (i) received COVID-19 related income support benefits and (ii) earned taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020; 
  • Making the deduction for home office expenses more accessible and easier to claim for employees that worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 
  • Offering small business owners and self-employed individuals the opportunity for virtual visits by phone or videoconference with a CRA Liaison Officer  to help them understand their tax obligations;
  • Providing additional support to community organizations that offer free virtual tax help for individuals with modest income through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP); and
  • Starting a new pilot program that offers grants to CVITP and Income Tax Assistance Volunteer Program clinics to assist with the costs of running these community tax clinics.

The CRA continues to encourage online filing of tax returns, as it is the most efficient and secure way to file taxes. While support will continue to be provided for those who choose to paper file their returns, the CRA may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns this year due to COVID-19. 

With last year’s security breaches in mind, the CRA is urging Canadians to call the CRA if they suspect that they have been the victim of identity theft or fraud so that they can validate their account and discuss additional security measures. 

These measures suggest that the CRA is attempting to enhance their service offerings rather than extending deadlines for filing tax returns. Currently, the CRA has not announced extensions to tax filing deadlines, so the T1 filing deadlines remain unchanged. Each individual should plan to file his or her T1 return by April 30, 2021 unless the individual or the individual’s spouse is self-employed, in which case the T1 return is due by June 15, 2021, although any tax owing must be paid by April 30, 2021.  

RSM CONTRIBUTORS


Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe


HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

Contact us by phone +1.855.420.8473 or submit your questions, comments or proposal requests


CONTACT

Maria Severino

National Tax Leader


Recent Tax Alerts

Bill C-208: The saga continues...

Bill C-208 has received Royal Assent and is now law, but legislative amendments are expected to support only bona fide business transitions.

  • July 21, 2021

Bold new international tax reform

Shortly after the G7 agreement, 130 countries and jurisdictions agreed to work collaboratively to reform the international taxation rules.

  • July 09, 2021

Canadian resident directors no longer needed for Ontario corporations

Effective July 5, 2021, Ontario corporations will no longer be required to have at least 25% of their directors be resident in Canada.

  • June 25, 2021

Will Bill C-208 reduce tax on inter-generational business transfers?

Bill C-208 proposes changes to the tax treatment of inter-generational transfers of farm, fishing and small business corporations.

  • June 09, 2021

Global Minimum Tax Agreement reached by G7

Building off OECD’s Pillars One and Two, the G7 leaders agreed to global tax reform measures targeting large international companies.

  • June 07, 2021