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Small businesses urge CRA to extend 2021 tax deadline

Last Updated Apr 29, 2021 at 6:03 am PDT

The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. The federal government's tax information call centres have received a D grade on a new report card from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is urging Canada Revenue Agency to extend the tax filing deadline

Small businesses struggling to file paperwork amid third wave of COVID-19 says CFIB

Less than a third of small businesses optimistic about their 2021 financial situation

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canadian small businesses are making a last-ditch plea for the federal government to delay Friday’s tax filing deadline as they grapple with a “crazy year” including trying to get their paper work in during the third wave of COVID-19.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been calling for a tax deferral since January and 63 per cent of its members agree it would help.

“For those that are not in a position to file their taxes because they’re right now putting all of their energy to keep their business afloat, I think it’s completely reasonable that we just give them a little bit more time,” CFIB president Dan Kelly said. “Nobody’s suggesting that they not pay their fair share, but giving them an extra month or two would be a huge help to Canadian business owners who have really been put through the wringer this year.”

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Kelly says roughly only 56 per cent of Canadian businesses are open, down from 62 per cent in March. Many are in a quasi-state of openness where they are only offering take out services, limiting customers or hours, or have reduced services due to a variety of reasons. On top of that, most are struggling with the paperwork.

“Between accounting for the federal and provincial support programs, new costs, remote work, laying off and rehiring workers throughout the year, many small businesses need more time to get the books in order,” Kelly said. “Sadly, the federal government has ignored calls to extend 2021 tax deadlines despite providing that relief last year.”

Only 29 per cent of small businesses are feeling optimistic about their 2021 financial situation according to the CFIB.

Last year, the federal government extended the deadline to file taxes to May 31 and pushed the date people had to pay to Sept. 30. Canadian accountants have started a petition asking Ottawa to extend this year’s deadline.

Self-employed Canadians who are the sole owner of their business or in a partnership have until June 15 to file personal tax returns, but if they have an amount owing, they must pay by the April 30 deadline to avoid interest and penalties.