How the postal strike may mess up your taxes
Canada Post is on strike and that will affect mailings from the Canada Revenue Agency. If you are anxiously awaiting a cheque from the CRA or your Notice of Assessment, you may have a wait awhile. But there are some options to consider.
With more people choosing to receive bills and other correspondence electronically, a Canada Post strike may not seem like a big deal to most Canadians. However, if you are expecting a cheque or letter from the Canada Revenue Agency, you may be in a tougher spot.
Cheques are printed weeks in advance of mailing. Direct deposit is an option, but if you are expecting a GST cheque in July it may now be too late to make those arrangements. But you can apply for direct deposit now, in case the strike drags on. If you do provide your banking details for direct deposit, the CRA is not allowed to take money from your account. I know that is a concern for some of my clients.
There are benefit cheques that will certainly be delivered even during the strike. They are:
- Canada child tax benefit (CCTB)
- Provincial/territorial benefits that are combined with the CCTB:
- British Columbia family bonus
- New Brunswick child tax benefit
- Child benefit for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Ontario and Saskatchewan
- Old Age Security (OAS)
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
But there are some credits and benefits that will not be mailed during the strike. They are:
- universal child care benefit (UCCB)
- goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit
- tax refunds or rebates for individuals and businesses
- Employment Insurance (EI)
- any other provincial or territorial benefits administered by the CRA that are not combined with CCTB payments. For a list of those programs, go to Provincial and territorial programs.
If you have already signed up for direct deposit, you will receive the above benefits on time.
If you are waiting for your Notice of Assessment, you can sign up for the MyAccount option on the CRA website to receive the information. It doesn’t mean your tax refund cheque will be mailed but you can see if your return has been processed or get information on your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution limit, in case you want to make a deposit.
Self-employed people can drop off their tax returns at CRA centres if they are ineligible for or do not wish to use NETFILE for their return. The June 15 deadline day is not affect by a postal strike.