On March 27, 2020, Canada’s Department of Finance announced GST/HST remittance relief. Any payments or remittances, including installment payments, that become owing on or after March 27, 2020 and before June 30, 2020 can be deferred until June 30, 2020. GST/HST returns are still required to be filed on time but penalties will not be imposed where a return is filed late, provided that it is filed by June 30, 2020. The deadline to remit excise taxes and duties remain unaffected.
The Canada Revenue Agency recently posted answers to several frequently asked questions regarding GST/HST remittance relief on their website to help guide businesses through this difficult and confusing time.
Refunds and rebates will generally still be processed if the GST/HST return is filed electronically. However, paper GST/HST returns and electronically filed GST/HST returns and rebate applications that require client contact or additional review may not be processed until “normal operations resume”. It appears, unfortunately, that some businesses that are expecting to receive a refund or rebate to alleviate cash flow burdens may have to wait. It is unknown at this time when normal operations are expected to resume.
Businesses that take advantage of this relief should be mindful that these measures only defer GST/HST remittance payments, they do not eliminate it. The Canada Revenue Agency has very broad powers at their disposal, including assessing a director personally, to collect unremitted GST/HST.
The members of the Miller Thomson LLP Sales, Commodity, and Indirect Tax Group are available to help. We will continue to post sales tax updates and insights to the Miller Thomson LLP COVID-19 Resources page.
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