At a Glance

Individuals and most businesses are required to file and pay their taxes by April 30th of the following year. For instance, the 2020 taxes ought to be filed and paid by April 30th, 2021. For the self-employed, the CRA extends the filing deadline to June 15th of the following year but owed taxes must still be paid by April 30th and not June 15th.

Penalties and interest on unpaid taxes start building up after April 30th of the following year whether or not you've filed your taxes.

While the tax filing deadlines are almost always fixed, they are not cast in stone; the CRA can extend tax filing and paying deadlines on a need basis. For example, due to Covid-19, the agency extended the filing of the 2019 tax returns to June 1st, 2020.

What this means for business owners

Tax due dates are some of the most important dates in your business calendar. When a due date falls on a holiday or weekend, the CRA recommends filing and paying your taxes on the next business day: "We consider your payment to be paid on the time or your return to be filed on time, if we receive it or if it's postmarked on the next business day" (CRA information & Important Dates).

But payments deducted or withheld including payroll deductions and Goods and Services Tax (GST) are to be received by the CRA on the day that they are deducted.

As a business owner, you want to ensure that you're not locked out of these crucial due dates. The CRA offices are kept open until midnight on most due dates to cater to any last-minute requests.

Even when you cannot afford to pay ensure that you file your returns on time to avoid late filing penalties. Additionally, if you're not able to pay after filing due to a genuine hardship, you may be eligible for Taxpayer Relief. All in all, aspire to file your taxes before due dates - or better yet, early!