March 21, 2020

About the Author

  • Leo E.K. Palay

    Leo works with both established private businesses and startup businesses in order to maximize tax efficient growth and protect the interest of the founders every step of the way.

  • Stephen A. Porco

    Stephen practices in the areas of corporate and commercial law and taxation, with a focus on corporate reorganizations and tax planning.
    (204) 934-2350

The Government of Canada has released its detailed economic response plan to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Included in this plan are the following measures relating to taxation and the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”): 


All taxpayers may defer the payment of any income tax amounts that would become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 (applicable to Part I of the Income Tax Act (Canada)) until after August 31, 2020.

Filings for individuals (other than trusts)

Due date for filing will be deferred until June 1, 2020. 

Filings for trusts

trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019 will have a filing due date of May 1, 2020. 

Filings for partnerships

Partnership filings will have a filing due date of May 1, 2020.

Filings for non-residents

Statement of amounts paid or credited to non-residents (NR4) are due May 1, 2020.




Collection activities on new debts are suspended until further notice. 

Audits, Objections and Appeals

  • The CRA will not contact any small or medium businesses to initiate any GST/HST or Income Tax audits for four weeks from March 18, 2020. The CRA will suspend audit interactions with the “vast majority of taxpayers”. 
  • Any objections relating to a Canadian’s entitlement to benefits and credits will continue and no delays are anticipated.
  • All other objections are being held in abeyance.
  • Communication with taxpayers and their representatives on ongoing matters is on hold.
  • Tax Court of Canada appeals that were before the Court on March 16, 2020 have received extensions of timelines while it is closed for business until March 30, 2020.

Subsidies and Credits

  • Qualifying businesses* shall be entitled to a 75% wage subsidy for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. *Details on eligibility are expected by the end of March.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefits (“CERB”): Taxable benefit $2,000.00 per month to employees who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance. The entitlement to the CERB will be made based on an individual’s application
  • Canada Child Benefit (“CCB”): The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual CCB payments by $300 per child for the 2019-2020 year.
  • Double of GST credit payment amounts by May 2020. 
  • RRIFs: Reducing required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs by 25% for 2020.
  • Business Credit Availability Program allows BDC and EDC to provide additional support. 
  • The CRA is providing enhanced electronic services during this time. 


Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020.The above measures are being modified or increased on an ongoing basis. 

Please contact the TDS Tax department for more information or to see if you or your business qualifies for any of the relief.

This article is presented for informational purposes only. The content does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor client relationship. The views expressed are solely the authors’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), its affiliate companies or its clients. The authors make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to via this article. The authors are not able to provide free legal advice. If you are seeking advice on specific matters, please contact Keith LaBossiere, CEO & Managing Partner at, or 204.934.2587. Please be aware that any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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