The CRA Strike: Information You Need To Know

Givens LLP | April 18, 2023


We’ve all read it in the news, the CRA is heading for a strike and received the strike mandate for any time between now and April 20th. What does that mean for you and your taxes? Well, it depends…. and we’re here to walk you through it.

How will this impact the filing and payment deadline?

There will be no filing extension offered. The CRA has already released that all personal tax returns are still due by the April 30 deadline, unless you are self-employed; and that all tax payments must be received by April 30 or there will be late payment penalties and interest assessed against outstanding amounts.

When will my return get assessed?

If you file electronically and your return is NOT selected for a pre-assessment review, it should still be assessed immediately. The CRA uses software to assess returns, so assessments are generated almost immediately on filing.

However, if you are:

  • Paper filing your return;
  • In the middle of a review/audit with the CRA; or
  • Are selected for a review

Then your return will be delayed and subject to the wait times. At the moment the CRA processing times are highly variable, however, the average delay is about 6 months. The important thing to note is that the strike will only compound this delay more.

What about my refund or the balance I owe?

If you are signed up for direct deposit, there should be no delay in receiving your refund. The refund is requested at the same time the CRA software notes the date of assessment. However, if your refund is delivered via mailed cheque, it will be delayed by this strike.

Similarly, if you’re paying your balances through online banking, it is likely that it will be posted as soon as it’s registered in the systems, however, if you or your bank is sending via cheque payments you can expect it to be held up by the strike.

What about corporate stuff? Trusts? Or active audits and reviews?

The corporate filings are all done electronically, and should not be impacted by the strike provided your filings are indeed set up this way. Corporations that are set up for cheques from the CRA, will be delayed. Trusts are the same. The biggest impact on trust returns will be that first-year returns will be delayed since the application process for a trust number is manual and paper-filed. However, any trusts that are e-filed should be fine.

As for audits and reviews, those officers are potentially going on strike as well so anything actively being worked on will be delayed, and will result in an inevitable backlog.

What can I do to minimize any impact this will have on me?

The best way to minimize any delay with your returns, of any kind, is to sign up to CRA online to make any changes/updates that you need to your personal, business, or trust accounts. Here are some helpful links to assist you in this process.

Givens, where your future is our focus.

Did you find this article helpful? Click here to sign up for the Let’s Get Fiscal! Newsletter and get the latest accounting news and tips delivered straight to your inbox. Or follow us on LinkedIn and stay up-to-date on all things business accounting.