TFEC Special Statement on COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Tax-Filer Empowerment Canada (TFEC) supports the Government of Canada measures to reduce the tax-filing burden and increase benefits for Canadians in need. These measures are part of the government’s broader plan to address hardships arising from the COVID -19 outbreak that was announced on March 18, 2020. The Government of Quebec, which administers its own taxes, announced parallel actions.

“We applaud the Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, Parliamentary Secretary Francesco Sorbara, and the Canada Revenue Agency for engaging TFEC on these actions, which reflect our shared interest in easing the burden of tax filing for Canadian taxpayers while increasing tax benefits those in need,” says Andrew Treusch, Executive Advisor to TFEC. “We equally welcome the collaboration provided by Revenu Québec.”

Tax-Filer Empowerment Canada is a ten-member national Association of Canada’s leading tax preparation and software firms. TFEC works with the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenue Quebec to provide Canadians impartial, accurate and accessible tax filing options, ranging from software tools to in-person advice and assistance. In 2018, TFEC and the Canada Revenue Agency signed a collaboration agreement with CRA to improve tax services for Canadians.

In light of COVID-19, TFEC members have put in place social distancing practices to protect Canadian tax filers and member employees.

Among other actions to provide income support to Canadians, the Government of Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan includes:

  • deferring the deadline for filing individual tax returns to June 1, 2020;
  • giving taxpayers until September 1, 2020 to pay any 2019 income tax amounts owed;
  • recognizing electronic signatures, which will allow taxpayers to authorize their returns while maintaining social distance from professional tax preparers.

The Plan also includes increases to the Child Tax Benefit and the Good and Services Tax credit for 2019-20, as well as increased flexibility for Registered Retirement Income Fund withdrawals for 2020.

Treusch added, “these measures will enable TFEC members to ease the tax burden for Canadians during this difficult time. TFEC members will work with the Canada Revenue Agency to ensure that Canadians receive the benefit of these new measures.”

All TFEC members are being encouraged to follow public health social distancing guidance to protect clients and employees.

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