New Relief Measures Announced by Revenu Québec in Response to the COVID 19 Pandemic

April 6, 2020

On March 31, Revenu Québec implemented a series of relief measures for individuals and businesses experiencing difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Payments

Individuals, trusts, corporations and specified investment flow-through entities (SIFT entities) now benefit from an extension of the deadline for certain payments for the 2019 taxation year.

Individuals and trusts (other than SIFT entities) have until September 1, 2020, to pay any balance of income tax, contributions (for individuals only), the annual registration fee for the enterprise register and any instalments normally due on June 15, 2020.

For amounts due between March 17, 2020, and August 31, 2020, i.e., instalments or income tax balances, corporations and SIFT entities now have until September 1 to make their payments. The same applies to the mining tax as well as to payments for the logging tax due during the same period.

It should be noted that these measures do not apply to the compensation tax for financial institutions, the tax on capital for insurance corporations or the tax on capital for life insurance corporations.

Extended deadlines

For individuals, the deadline for filing the income tax return has been extended to June 1, 2020; the same deadline applies for filing the income tax return for a person who died in the 2019 taxation year, but before December 1, 2019. For those who carried on a business in 2019 (or whose spouse carried on a business), the deadline remains June 15, 2020. For trusts and SIFT entities (other than testamentary trusts that are graduated rate estates), the deadline for filing the income tax return has been extended to May 1, 2020. The same deadline applies for testamentary trusts that are graduated rate estates for the 2019 taxation year, if the original deadline was after March 16, 2020.

May 1 is the date that has been selected as the new deadline in several other situations, including the Partnership Information Return (TP-600) (i) if all members of the partnership are individuals; (ii) if all members of the partnership are corporations and the deadline would normally be after March 16, 2020, but before May 1, 2020; and (iii) in all other situations, unless the last day of the fifth month following the end of the fiscal period is earlier.

Revenu Québec has extended to June 1, 2020, all administrative deadlines (other than return deadlines that have already been extended) that would normally fall between March 17, 2020, and August 31, 2020. This deferral does not apply to the payment of various consumption taxes, contributions or source deductions.

GST/HST and QST returns

June 30, 2020, is the new deadline for remitting net GST/HST and QST for all returns and instalment payments due between March 27, 2020, and June 1, 2020, inclusively. In order to maintain the harmonization of the QST system with the GST/HST system, the filing deadlines for returns remain the same. However, owing to the circumstances related to COVID-19, no late-filing penalty will be charged, provided the returns are filed no later than June 30, 2020.

Charity information return

December 31, 2020, is the new deadline for filing the TP-985.22 information return for registered charities whose original filing deadline was between March 17, 2020, and December 30, 2020.

Objecting to a notice of assessment

The 90-day time limit to object to an assessment that would normally expire between March 13, 2020, and June 29, 2020, has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Appeals

An appeal before the Court of Québec is brought by an application in accordance with the contentious proceedings governing actions and applications in civil matters. However, in light of the state of health emergency, all time limits for filing such appeals have been suspended effective March 15, 2020, until further notice.

Administrative measures

  • Personal income tax returns for which a refund is due will be prioritized.
  • Applications for business tax credits and tax refunds will also be processed on an expedited basis.
  • Audit activities have been suspended, unless the taxpayer initiates the process or in exceptional, high-risk situations.
  • Collection activities have also been suspended until further notice. Revenu Québec will be more flexible regarding existing payment agreements.
  • Revenu Québec will also accept an electronic signature on the forms that tax preparers must have taxpayers sign.
  • Information sessions and the assistance program for small and medium-sized businesses are now offered by phone.

Other measures

With respect to support payments, Revenu Québec has suspended the time limit to appeal a decision by the Minister regarding a notice of contestation effective March 15, 2020, until further notice. With respect to the Unclaimed Property Act (UPA), and in the case of a business or legal person, the deadline for remitting unclaimed property to the Minister of Revenue has been extended to August 31, 2020. As a result, no late fee will be charged for property that became unclaimed between December 17, 2019, and May 30, 2020, provided it is remitted before September 1, 2020. The 10-year limit for remitting amounts under $500 to the Minister of Finance has been suspended until further notice.

For more information, please see Revenu Québec’s Relief Measures for Individuals and Businesses.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended to convey general information about legal issues and developments as of the indicated date. It does not constitute legal advice and must not be treated or relied on as such. Please read our full disclaimer at www.stikeman.com/legal-notice.

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