CRA’s Interest Relief 2020 - Do you meet the Criteria?

Traci-Lyn Kerr |

There has been a lot of talk lately with respect to the amount of untaxable income Canadians received from the various government income support programs due to COVID-19.  If you find yourself in a position of owing the taxman this year, you may qualify for interest relief.  

The T1 filing deadline for individuals is April 30, 2021 and June 15, 2021 for self-employed individuals. 

On February 9, 2021, the Government of Canada announced they will provide targeted interest relief to Canadians who received COVID-related income support benefits.  Once individuals have filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022.  This will give Canadians more time and flexibility to pay if they have an amount owing.

To qualify for targeted interest relief, individuals must have had a total taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020 and have received income support in 2020 through one or more of the following COVID-19 measures:

  • the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB); 
  • the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB); 
  • the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB); 
  • the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB); 
  • the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB); 
  • Employment Insurance benefits; or 
  • similar provincial emergency benefits.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will automatically apply the interest relief measure for individuals who meet these criteria.

Additionally, any CRA-administered credits and benefits normally paid monthly or quarterly, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit will not be applied to reduce individuals’ tax debt owing for the 2020 tax year.

We strongly encouraged everyone to file their tax returns by the filing deadline to ensure that their benefit payments continue without interruption.