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Finance Canada/CRA: GST/HST update and end of GST/HST and customs duties deferral

Author(s): Alan Kenigsberg

June 30, 2020

On June 29, 2020, Finance Canada announced that there will be no extension of the relief that was announced by the CRA on March 27, 2020, which allowed all businesses to defer, until June 30, 2020, any GST/HST payments or remittances that became owing on or after March 27, 2020, and before July 2020.

As the deferral period has ended, businesses must, by June 30, 2020, make payments and remittances of all GST that was due on or before June 30, 2020. Interest will begin to apply to outstanding remittances and payments, and penalties will begin to apply to outstanding returns, effective July 1, 2020. While nothing is guaranteed, businesses that cannot make payments of any GST/HST and customs duty owing can contact the CRA and/or CBSA to make a request for the cancellation of penalties and interest and/or for flexible payment arrangements.

The CRA also posted updated FAQs on its website on June 29. Included in these FAQs is a statement that, as a temporary measure, the CRA will be accepting electronic signatures for GST/HST documents submitted online. Specifically, as of July 6, 2020, businesses will be able to use a new electronic service to submit GST/HST documents with an electronic signature. This change will be welcome to many taxpayers, especially those who were having a difficult time having documents signed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please see the following links to both the Finance news release and the CRA FAQs:

Finance news release