Feds ignore calls to extend tax deadline day today, adding more stress to Canadians

CRA website went down Thursday evening, just hours before tax filing deadline.

Up until the last minute the Trudeau Liberals were pressed to extend the tax filing deadline, similarly to the extension given during the first wave of COVID-19.

The Conservatives sent a last ditch effort letter to National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier Thursday, reiterating their pleas to push back the tax filing deadline.

In a statement, Conservative critic Philip Lawrence said the last thing Canadians want to deal with right now is the financial stress of filing taxes.

“Let’s give Canadians some breathing room and much-needed compassion,” he said. “The simple fact is that Ottawa can wait.”

The Conservatives are among those asking the Liberals to move the deadline to the end of June.

The professional organization representing chartered accountants, CPA Canada, also called on Canada Revenue Agency for a similar extension.

There are also concerns that Ontario’s current lockdown measures will impact people’s ability to file on time.

Quebec announced on Thursday their filing deadline will be extended until the end of May. CPA Canada asked the Liberals to do the same.

Adding to the stresses of filing taxes on time, the CRA website was down for about two hours on Thursday evening, just hours before the deadline.

The website issues have since been resolved. Earlier this year, nearly one million Canadians were locked out of their CRA account due to “cybersecurity” measures.

The CRA said user logins and other sensitive information was possibly hacked.

Along with those political and organizational calls for a tax filing extension, nearly 80,000 people, including tax preparers, signed a tax extension petition, stating that the deadline has created an unprecedented strain on the resources of tax preparers.

Did you know?

Some Canadians might not know they have to pay taxes on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Canadians who accessed COVID-19 benefits and earned $75,000 or less, won’t be charged interest on tax amounts owing until 2022.

However, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) did not extend relief to late-filing penalties where there’s an unpaid tax liability.

That means if you miss the April 30 deadline, the CRA will slap on a 5 per cent penalty on the balance owing and an extra 1 per cent each month after.

From the CRA;

The late-filing penalty is applied if you file your tax return after the due date and have a balance owing. If you cannot pay your balance owing, you should still file on time to avoid being charged the late-filing penalty.

The late-filing penalty is 5 per cent of your 2020 balance owing, plus an additional 1 per cent for each full month you file after the due date, to a maximum of 12 months.

If the CRA charged a late-filing penalty for 2017, 2018, or 2019 and requested a formal demand for a return, your late-filing penalty for 2020 will be 10 per cent of your balance owing.