COVID-19 Tax Relief for Manitobans

On April 3, 2020 the government of Manitoba announced additional measures to support the province’s fight against COVID-19 including various measures to help provide tax relief for Manitobans.

The province announced that it would extend the provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to align with the revised federal deadlines. The provincial filing and payment deadlines have been extended to August 31 from the initial deadline of April 30. Interest and penalties will therefore begin to accrue after August 31.

These extensions come a little over a week after the province issued relief for small and medium-sized businesses indicating that it intended to extend the April and May filing deadlines for retail sales taxes and the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy (payroll tax) for small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000. Businesses meeting this criteria that are normally  required to file by April 20 and May 20 were provided filing deadline extensions until June 22, 2020. The premier indicated that this will result in $80 million in deferred remittance to the province.

The province intends for these measures to be temporary relief and not a release of individuals’ and corporations’ requirements to pay amounts owing. With respect to small and medium-sized businesses, the province indicated that interest and penalties will not apply until after June 22, 2020, giving these businesses two months of relief. However, interest will continue to apply on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance deadlines. The province has also indicated that it is willing to work with businesses above the $10,000 cap to work out flexible payment arrangements.

At this time, the province has not indicated any flexible payment arrangements for amounts owing with respect to provincial income tax and corporate income tax following the extended payment deadlines. Should the impact of COVID-19 continue to rise, it is possible that flexible payment options will be announced. We also anticipate that the filing and payment deadlines will be further extended as the province has indicated it would be willing to extend the filing and payment deadlines until October 1, provided the Federal Government is in agreement.

Winnipeg

The City of Winnipeg announced a plan to provide relief on property and business taxpayers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic following the declaration of a local state of emergency in Winnipeg on April 3. The plan provides “property and business owners relief by giving them more time to pay their taxes.” Similar to the relief announced by the government of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg’s relief plan involves deferring the accrual of penalties on unpaid taxes to a later date.

In particular, the City of Winnipeg announced that it has waived penalties for unpaid property and business taxes for up to three months following their due date. The following table outlines the applicable due dates and the dates on which penalties are waived until.

Property Taxes

Business Taxes

Due Date

Penalties Waived Until

Due Date

Penalties Waived Until

June 30, 2020

October 1, 2020

May 29, 2020

September 1, 2020

At this time, penalties will begin to accrue on property taxes on October 1, 2020 and on business taxes on September 1, 2020. This is a fluid situation and therefore these deadlines may change based on the ever-changing state of the pandemic in Winnipeg.

The City of Winnipeg has also waived Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP) program fees, including enrolment fees and late payment fees, on both property and business taxes until October 1, 2020. Waiving the enrolment fee will encourage residents requiring additional tax relief to enrol and subsequently defer payments without penalty.

While these waivers of penalties are available to all property and business taxpayers, the City of Winnipeg encourages those who can to pay their taxes on the applicable due date. At this time, the City of Winnipeg has not extended tax due dates.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.

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