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Canada GST and Provincial Sales Tax COVID-19 measures

  • Aug 31, 2020 | Richard Asquith

31 Aug - British Columbia to go ahead with COVID-delayed Provincial Sales Tax on digital services.

31 July - the federal Revenue Agency will waive interest on Goods and Services Tax and Harmonised Services Tax on returns between April and June

8 July - Manitoba extends sales tax returns to 20 October 2020 for small and mid-sized businesses. This covers returns due in April to September. April and July quarterly returns are delayed to 20 October, too. There will be no penalites for missed filings earlier in the year.

30 June - the federal government has confirmed the ending of the GST/GST payment delay scheme today. However, businesses still in COVID-related difficulties, may apply for continuing payment delays.

20 May - the federal government has provided for a delay on all GST/HST payments, including other import taxes, until June.

17 April update - a one time federal GST credit payment to low-income individuals.

9 April update - Saskatchewan is allowing monthly Provincial Sales Tax (PST) payers to delay payming their Feb, Mar and Apr taxes until 31 July. Quarterly PST filers may delay to 31 July, too. This is now on an automatic basis; no application is required. Returns must still be submitted on time. Previously, the province permited businesses to delay their PST filings and returns for three months until June. Not penalties will be attached. This scheme was only available on application.

29 March Federal Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) returns and payments are postponed for March, April and May until 30 June 2020 for monthly filers. Q1 quarterly GST payers must file and pay by 30 June, too. Annual taxpayers may pay their liabilities in instalments by 30 June 2020.

Quebec on 27 March has deferred Quebec Sales Tax (QST) filings and payments for March, April and May until 30 June 2020. There will be no penalties or late interest charged.

Ontario on 25 March granted interest and fines waivers on a range of provincial taxes until 31 August 2020. However, this does not meantion its sales tax, Harmonised Sales Tax.

Manitoba on 22 March accounced that small businesses may postpone their retail sales tax payments by two months.

The Canadian province of British Columbia has offered a postponement of filings and payments of its provincial sales tax (PST) from 23 March. This is the consumption tax levied on top of the federal Goods and Services Tax of 5%. BC is the first province to offer this.

The Canadian Revenue Agency had already announced that it will suspend any ongoing investigations, assessments or audits with taxpayers and their agents.

The CRA has allowed for certain tax payment holidays, but these do not so far apply to federal Goods and Services Tax. The provinces are planning their own measures for local sales tax. Follow Avalara’s live global coronavirus Covid-19 VAT measures tracker.

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2019 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.

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