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Filing Your Return -> Personal Tax Return Due Date

Personal Income Tax Return Due Date

Income Tax Act s. 150(1)

Personal income tax returns, except for those of individuals with self-employment income, are normally due by April 30th, as is any amount owing.  Penalties and interest may be charged for late returns or late payments.

COVID-19 Update March 18, 2020:  The 2019 tax deadline is extended to June 1, and tax balances and instalments may be deferred till September 1st without interest or penalties.  These measures were also announced by the Quebec government.  If you are expecting a refund, or have income-tested benefits such as Canada Child Benefit or GST Credit, it may be best to not delay your filing.

Note that the September 1st date has been revised from August 31st - you're not imagining things. The first federal government announcement said payments would be due "after August 31", then CRA indicated payment would be due August 31st, and they subsequently changed this to September 1st.

Support has been announced for small businesses, employees, self-employed, etc. See our page on COVID-19 Resources.

If you file your 2019 tax return by April 30th, or have already filed, the payment of taxes can still be deferred till August 31st.

If you are filing online, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sometimes allows a grace period for taxpayers who may experience delays in submitting their return online.  Any amount owing is still expected to be paid by April 30th (normally, not now for 2019 amounts owing) to avoid any penalties.  See the CRA home page for more information, as they would post information here if they are allowing a grace period.  You can NetFile your tax return online until long after the due date, but it will be considered late if filed after the due date.

Individuals with self-employment income have until June 15th (this appears to be unchanged) to file their 2019 personal tax returns, but any amounts owing must still be paid by April 30th - again, not this year - see above.  This extension applies to individuals who carried on a business in the year, other than a business whose expenditures are primarily the cost or capital cost of tax shelter investments.  The extension also applies to the spouse of an individual who carried on a business in the year.  S. 150(1)(d)(ii) of the Income Tax Act regarding the extension for individuals who carried on a business does not indicate that the individual must be exclusively self-employed (i.e., no employment income) to get the extension.

The Income Tax Act specifies the due dates above as April 30th and June 15th.  The Interpretation Act s. 26 indicates that when the due date falls on a holiday, then the due date will be considered to be the next day that is not a holiday.  The Interpretation Act s. 35(1) defines "holiday" by listing the applicable statutory holidays, and indicates that Sunday is considered a holiday.  According to the Interpretation Act, Saturday is not considered a holiday.  However, the CRA information on Important Dates for Individuals indicates that "When a due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday, we consider your payment to be paid on time or your return to be filed on time, if we receive it or if it is postmarked on the next business day."  Note that this is not true of the remittance of an amount deducted or withheld (such as payroll or GST/HST remittances), or payable by a corporation.  Payments of these amounts are deemed to have been made on the date that they are received by CRA (Receiver General), as per s. 248(7) of the Income Tax Act.

Many CRA offices stay open until midnight on the personal income tax return filing due date to accept returns.

If you can't afford to pay, file your tax return on time to avoid late-filing penalties!

If you are unable to meet your tax obligations due to extraordinary circumstances (such as 2019 flooding), actions of the CRA, financial hardship or other circumstances, you may be able to apply for Taxpayer Relief.

Tax Tip:    Always file your tax return on time, or better yet, early!

Revised: March 31, 2020


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