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Dan-in-Ottawa

Changes to your taxes

Normally at this time of year I would be referencing the April 30 deadline to file your personal income tax.

Instead, I will be outlining the changes that have been made to the income tax filing deadline.

As part of the federal government COVID-19 response effort, the filing deadline has been extended to individuals to June 1, 2020.

This change applies to all Canadians who file an individual tax return with the Canadian Revenue Agency.

If you owe taxes for the 2019 taxation year, the payment deadline has also been extended to Sept. 1, 2020.

For self-employed individuals, the filing deadline remains unchanged at June 15, 2020.

It should also be pointed out that if you are expecting an income tax refund or to qualify for other benefits, such as the GST/HST credit or the Canada Child Benefit, the earlier you can file your return the less likely you are to encounter a delay in receiving these benefits.

There is also now more information available for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. 

This program details indicate that it offers “forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020.”

At the moment to qualify a commercial property owner (landlord) must meet the following criteria:

  • own property that generates rental revenue from commercial real property located in Canada;
  • the rental property in question must have a mortgage secured by the commercial real property, occupied by one or more small business tenants;
  • the landlord must have entered or will enter into a rent reduction agreement for the period of April, May, and June 2020, that will reduce impacted small business tenant’s rent by at least 75%;
  • the rent reduction agreement with your tenants must include a moratorium on eviction for the period of April, May and June 2020;
  • a commercial landlord must have declared rental income on their tax return (personal or corporate) for tax years 2018 and/or 2019.

The initial feedback I have heard from commercial landlords has not been positive. 

Landlords who do not have a mortgage cannot, at the present time, apply for this program.

Another common complaint is that the program forces a landlord to undertake a loan with no guarantees or recourse if a tenant defaults.

If anything, by agreeing to a non-eviction clause for three months, a landlord could be faced with even higher costs from participating in this program.

From the angle of a small business tenant, if the landlord does not qualify for this program or refuses to apply because of the poorly designed terms, they will receive no assistance whatsoever.

In my view, this program fails to achieve the intended goals to help small and mid-sized business with a meaningful rent reduction, and I am hopeful that the federal government will make further changes to fine tune this program.

My question this week:

Do you agree?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711. 

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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