My association has been lobbying the Federal Government to extend the tax filing deadline this year as Ontario is in lock down (see release below April 12, 2021). With Ontario in lock down it does impact the service delivery of professional tax preparers such as getting meetings completed, obtaining proper signatures, and generally more administration time in order to get the returns filed. Also, the CRA has locked out almost 1.0 million Canadians from their My Accounts in middle of March 2021 and some professional preparers twice because of a security issue. Thus, with everyone calling the CRA to get reinstated, with 3-5 hours per call being the normal, all in a busy time for accountants. However, the Federal Government that controls this decision for the deadline has not been open to an extension which is odd for this tax filing year?
Last year everything was extended. Also, some of those extensions from last year are still impacting service delivery this year, but doesn't seem to matter in their decision which is puzzling?
However, the Federal Government has decided it knows best vs the CPA Association which knows that the CPA membership, at approximately 60% of the members on the last poll I saw, understand and want an extension in order to service the public better.
I guess the CRA likes more work projects on refiled tax returns and the government believes that a few late file penalties are more important than accountants health and taxpayer/ client health to get the tax returns done in a lock down by April 30th, 2021. Why the filing of the documents can't be delayed this year in a major waive of the virus for 30 or 60 days is sad and dangerous. Besides being disappointing, Canada we can do better!
Date: April 14, 2021
Copyright © 2021 By Peter Wiesner CPA, CA
All Rights Reserved
April 12, 2021 From CPA Canada
Update on tax deadlines
We wanted to provide you with an update on our activities with the federal government on the issue of tax deadline relief since our last update on March 30. We recognize the significance of this issue in terms of the public interest. It impacts Canada’s professional accountants, tax preparers and Canadian taxpayers, and this is why CPA Canada has been actively discussing deadlines and/or tax relief with senior government officials for several months.
Concerns around the pandemic have heightened since our last report and Ontario in particular has instituted a stay-at-home order that will apply beyond the April 30 T1 deadline. We have received more feedback from many of you and we have, once again, raised these concerns with CRA officials. For those of you in Ontario, be assured that we explained the significant issues that a stay-at-home order creates for tax preparation services. Reading your notes has highlighted the gravity of the professional and personal issues you are facing, and we had been hoping for some good news.
Unfortunately, it appears that our efforts to obtain generalized deadline relief will be unsuccessful despite what we believe is a clear need for many firms and the taxpayers they serve. If relief was needed last year, then it is difficult to understand why it is not needed again this year, especially for those of you in areas with heightened variant risks and case counts.
The relief sought could have been in the form of an actual deadline extension or broad administrative relief for penalties and interest. Both were used last year for T1 returns and either approach would have been effective this year. We had also suggested a more modest time period for the relief this year when compared with what was allowed last year. We believe that such a request is both reasonable and in the public interest.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.