Indirect Tax News - May 2020

COVID-19 Sales Tax Relief Measures

Following the onset of COVID-19 in North America, the Canadian federal government delivered a series of solutions aimed at supporting individuals and businesses. Although a significant portion of the relief has been earmarked to employers to ensure preparedness for the day that the switch is flipped on Canada’s economic generator, several measures were introduced both at the federal and provincial levels that assist a wide array of businesses – small, medium, and large. Among these is the ‘CAD 30 billion loan’ being extended to Canadian businesses through a payment deferral of Canada’s VAT, the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). Monthly registrants have until 30 June 2020 to make payments or remittances of GST/HST for the February, March, and April reporting periods (the May reporting is due on 30 June already). Quarterly filers have until 30 June 2020 to make payments or remittances for the 1 January - 31 March 2020 quarter. Revenu Quebec announced the same measures for Quebec Sales Tax (QST). Note that filing GST/HST and QST returns when they are normally due is still encouraged.

Provincial authorities also introduced the following deferrals:

  • British Columbia Provincial Sales Tax (PST) payments deferred to 30 September 2020.
  • Saskatchewan PST payments deferred for as much as three months, if the taxpayer applies for the deferral.
  • Manitoba PST payments normally due on 20 April and 20 May are deferred to 22 June 2020, where monthly remittances are no more than CAD 10,000 per month.
  • Ontario provincially-administered taxes are deferred until 31 August 2020 and it has increased the Employer Health Tax (EHT) payroll exemption. Normally only the first CAD 490,000 of payroll (so-called total Ontario remuneration) is exempt from the EHT. For 2020, the first CAD 1 million of payroll is exempt.
  • All provincial workers compensation boards have introduced deferrals of premiums.

Customs duties and GST on imports

Amounts payable to Canada Border Services Agency for customs duties and 5% GST on imports are generally due before the first day of the month following the month in which the Statements of Accounts are issued. Payment deadlines for amounts included on Statements of Accounts for March, April, and May are deferred to 30 June 2020.

Brian Morcombe
[email protected]

Bruce Goudy
[email protected]