2024 Canada Tax Deadlines: Filing Dates, Payment Dates and Penalties

Canada Tax Deadlines

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Spring marks the arrival of warmer weather and longer days, but it’s also Canadian tax deadline season, which means it’s time to get your paperwork in order and book an appointment with your accountant.

But regardless of your situation, submitting your tax filings and payments on time is vital. Not meeting the deadline can result in penalties, interest charges, and more scrutiny from the CRA, which may lead to a meddling audit.

In this guide, we’ll explain the tax filing and payment dates you need to know for 2024. We’ll also provide tips for dealing with filing errors and tax bills you cannot afford to pay.

Tax filing and payment deadlines

Below are the tax filing and payment due dates for in Canada for 2024. The deadlines and reporting requirements for income tax returns vary depending on your tax situation (employee, self-employed, corporation, etc.).

Individuals

The income tax filing deadline for individuals, which applies to most Canadian taxpayers, is April 30, 2024. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will consider your return to be filed on time if you submit it on or before April 30, 2024. You can also postmark your return on or before April 30 if you’re sending your return by mail.

If you owe taxes, you must pay the balance in full by April 30, 2024.

Self-employed individuals

If you’re self-employed, the CRA gives you extra time to file your taxes—the deadline is June 17, 2024. Your spouse or common-law partner will also have to file their return on or by June 17. 

The filing deadline is technically June 15, as it is every year, but 2024 is an exception because it falls on a Saturday. For this reason, the CRA has extended the deadline to the next business day. Provided you submit or postmark your tax return on or before June 17, the CRA will deem it to have been filed on time.

However, if you owe taxes, you (and your spouse or common-law partner) must pay the CRA in full by April 30, 2024, just like most taxpayers.

Corporations

If you earn income through a corporation, you must file your tax return (T2 form) no later than six months following the end of your fiscal year.

A corporate business can have a fiscal year that ends in any month of the year. So, if your corporation’s fiscal year is July 31, its tax return is due on the last day six months after that, January 31.

The payment deadline for corporate taxes varies. Typically, a corporation must pay its taxes in installments, with the balance due on the final day of each month. However, some organizations may qualify to submit payment quarterly. Any amount owing after deducting the installments already paid for the year is due two or three months following the end of the fiscal year. This amount is known as the balance of tax.

Other tax situations

Special tax filing rules may apply in certain situations, some of which can be challenging to decipher. In such circumstances, it’s worth consulting an accountant or tax lawyer for guidance. Below are some examples.

TrustsDue to the passage of Bill C-32,most trusts in Canada must now file a trust return for tax years ending after December 31. This rule also applies to trusts that have never filed a return in a previous tax year.

Deceased persons. If you’re in charge of settling the tax affairs of a deceased person, ensure you become familiar with the reporting and payment rules. The filing deadline for a deceased individual depends on when they passed away. If the death occurred between January 1 and October 31, the final return is due April 30, 2024. If they died between November 1 and December 31, you must submit their return six months following the date of their death.

BankruptcyIf you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you must split the tax year into two income tax returns. The first return covers the period from January 1 to the starting date of your bankruptcy, and the second covers the rest of the calendar year. Learn more about how personal bankruptcy affects your tax obligations.

GST and HST Filing Deadlines

Regarding GST/HST returns, the filing and payment due dates depend on the business GST/HST filing period:

  • For a monthly or quarterly reporting period, the deadline is one month after the reporting period ends.
  • For an annual reporting period with a non-calendar year-end, the deadline is three months after the reporting ends.
  • For an annual reporting period with a calendar year-end, the deadline is June 15. However, you must remit payment by April 30.

You must file these returns even if you have no business transactions. After filing the returns, the CRA will send you a prescribed form if you owe GST/HST for the reporting period. You must use that form to pay any outstanding amount. In case of a refund, the CRA will process payment in two to four weeks.

What happens if you file your tax return late?

You may incur penalties and interest charges if you don’t file your income tax return on time and owe taxes. The CRA charges a late-filing penalty of 5% on your balance due, plus 1% for each month you file your return late, up to a maximum of 12 months. In addition, interest charges will begin accumulating on your balance starting May 1—and these charges compound daily, so they’ll add up fast.

Let’s say you miss the tax filing deadline but don’t owe any taxes. In this scenario, you won’t get hit with penalties and interest. However, there may be delays in payment of certain government benefits that you collect, such as GST/HST credits, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), and Old Age Security (OAS). Therefore, ensure you file your return on time, even if you can’t afford to pay your taxes, to avoid disrupting these government support payments.

What can you do if you can’t pay your taxes by the deadline?

If you cannot pay your taxes on time, contact the CRA to inquire about an alternative solution. The CRA may agree to a payment arrangement that allows you to pay down your balance over time rather than in one lump sum.

The CRA also offers help through the Taxpayer Relief Provision (TRP). Under this program, your penalties and interest charges may be waived, lowering your tax bill. To qualify for this relief measure, you’ll have to demonstrate that you’re unable to meet your tax obligations due to extraordinary circumstances, financial hardship, specific actions by the CRA, etc.

If you’re ineligible for the TRP, you may ask for a remission review. A remission review is an option of last resort. It’s granted only under rare circumstances where there’s no solution for a taxpayer through existing tax laws. To qualify, you must prove that your circumstances prevent you from paying your taxes. These include severe financial distress, a serious illness, and mistakes made by the CRA.

Other tax-related due dates

The tax filing and payment deadlines are the most important dates to know. But there are others you’ll want to keep in mind for the 2023 tax year to avoid penalties, maximize your deductions, and get your refund sooner. Here are some to mark down in your calendar:

  • First day you can file your tax return: February 19, 2024
  • Filing deadline to receive your next Canada Carbon Rebate (CCR) on April 15: March 15, 2024
  • Deadline for contributing to your RRSP: February 29, 2024
  • Deadline for issuing T4s to employees and the CRA: February 29, 2024
  • Deadline for filing a family trust with a calendar year-end: March 31, 2024
  • Deadline for filing Statement of Amounts Paid or Credited to Non-resident of Canada (NR4): March 31, 2024

Struggling to pay your tax debt? Here’s how a Licensed Debt Professional Can Help

Filing your tax return by the deadline will ensure you avoid specific penalties. But if you owe tax to the CRA and cannot pay on time, interest will begin accruing on your account. If your balance remains unpaid for too long, the CRA can take legal action to enforce payment, including garnishing your wages, registering a lien on your property, and freezing your bank account.

If you need help dealing with CRA tax debt, schedule a free consultation with one of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LIT) at David Sklar & Associates to explore your options. An LIT is the only debt professional in Canada who can advise and guide you through every form of financial relief, including debt consolidation, personal bankruptcy, and consumer proposal. The sooner you reach out for support, the sooner you can eliminate your debts.

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