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Filing Your Return -> Personal Tax Return Due Date

Personal Income Tax Return Due Date

Income Tax Act s. 150(1), 248(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.

New: See below re interest relief for some (not all) 2020 recipients of COVID-19 relief benefits, and Quebec's extension of the tax return/payment due date.

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 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 to file their 2020 personal tax returns, but any amounts owing must still be paid by April 30th.  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 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!

2020 Recipients of COVID-19 Relief Benefits - Due Date for Tax Payment Extended For Some Taxpayers

Quebec Tax Filing Deadline Extended to May 31st

On April 15, 2021, Revenu Quebec announced that their tax filing and payment due date has been extended to May 31, 2021.

Federal Tax Return Deadline Still April 30th

Although federal tax returns still must be filed by the Friday April 30, 2021 due date, some (not all) taxpayers who received CERB, CESB, CRB, CRCB, CRSB, EI benefits, or similar provincial emergency benefits will not required to pay interest on any outstanding tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022.

For more information see:

Video Tax News March 2021 Life in the Tax Lane video

Video Tax News COVID-19 Benefits - Interest and Repayment Relief

Canada Revenue Agency February 9, 2021 News Release re CERB repayments and interest relief

Prior Information re 2019 Tax Returns

COVID-19 Update March 18, 2020:  The 2019 tax deadline is extended to June 1.  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.

Updates May 22/25, 2020:  CRA confirmed that as long as the tax return is filed by September 1, there will be no late filing penalty.  This includes tax returns filed for self-employed with a June 15th due date.

Update July 27, 2020:  The payment due date is extended from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 for current year individual, corporate, and trust tax returns, including instalment payments.  Penalties and interest will not be charged if payments are made by the extended deadline of September 30th.  This includes the late-filing penalty as long as the return is filed by September 30th.

The July 27th CRA announcement also indicates that interest is being waived on existing tax debts related to individual, corporate and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020, and for GST/HST returns from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

Important:  However, if 2019 individual tax returns are not received and assessed by early September 2020, estimated benefits and/or credits will stop in October 2020 and individuals may have to repay the amounts that were issued as of July 2020.


Filing 2019 taxes through the COVID-19 crisis and

Income tax filing and payment deadlines: CRA and COVID-19 - NOTE:  There will be no penalty for a late-filed T1135, Foreign Income Verification Statement if it is filed with your tax return by September 1.  As of July 30, 2020, this had not been updated to September 30th. See Other information returns, elections, designations and information requests on the CRA Income tax filing and payment deadlines page.

Revenue Quebec indicated that "Since the deadline for paying an income tax balance has been postponed to September 1, you will not be charged a late-filing penalty if you file your income tax return by September 1.  However, you should still file your income tax return promptly to receive the amounts you are entitled to." 

If you filed your 2019 tax return by April 30th, or have already filed, the payment of taxes can still be deferred till September 30, 2020.

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

Revised: April 20, 2021


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