Tax Filing Deadlines in Canada
Tax Due Dates By Type of Tax

by L. Kenway BComm CPB

The Bookkeeper's Notes on tax compliance and tax filing deadlines by tax type ...

everything in one place ... for work from home bookkeepers and small business owners doing their own books.

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INDEX - Small Business Compliance References for Canadian Bookkeepers

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 Tax filing deadlines for small business owners in Canada

✔ Tax Filing Deadlines & Notes
✔ Income Tax, Canadian Sales Tax, Payroll Tax,
✔ Director's Compliance Liabilities

Tax Filing Deadlines For Work From Home Business Owners in Canada

✔ Tax Compliance Responsibilities
✔ Due Dates For 2019
✔ Due Dates For 2018/19 Tax Season

Tax Rate of Interest to Work From Home Business Owners in Canada

✔ Tax Rates
✔ Interest Rates, GST/HST/PST, BC WCB
✔ Auto Allowance
, Mileage, CCA

GST/HST Quick Method Rates

✔ GST/HST Quick Method
✔ Current Quick Rates
✔ Historical Quick Rates


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One of the most common questions by employees in January and February each year is, "When do T4s come out?".

--- 2019 T4 Due Date -- T4 Deadline 2019 ---
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Payroll - T4 and T4A Information Returns

Employers need to have released T4 slips to employees on or before the due date (see box above for date). Failure to do so results in hefty fines.

You may be wondering whether you can give the employee an electronic copy of the T4 instead of mailing the paper slip. CRA says yes "if you have received the employee's consent in writing or electronic format".

In CRA's Video Gallery, two webcasts you may be interested in viewing are Preparing T4 Slips and Summaries and Payroll Information for a New Small Business.

Please Read This BEFORE You Prepare Your T4 Slips

It is important to remember that for the purpose of tax filing deadlines, income is reported in the year it was paid not when the income was earned.

This applies to your payroll source deduction remittances as well as the preparation of the T4 slips.

Do not confuse this with GAAP / ASPE reporting where you accrue unpaid but earned wage income in the year the wage was earned.

If you are using an accounting software program like QuickBooks, it knows the rules and will correctly prepare the T4s provided you have entered your payroll correctly.

The easiest way to meet your tax filing deadline is to file your T4 Summary and slips online. Prior to the end of each calendar year (about the end of November), CRA sends you a letter with your online access code. WATCH for this letter and don't throw it out.

Since January 2011, you can submit up to 6 T4 slips using the T4 Web forms online by going to the CRA website and selecting T4/T5 and other returns>Filing a T4 information return> T4 Web forms.

If you still want to file by paper (available only if you have less than 50 slips), go to the Businesses tab on the CRA website and select Payroll>Completing and filing information returns. Under each section, you will find fillable forms.

Click here for more 2018/2019 Canadian Tax Season tax filing deadline dates.

Click here for information on Canadian payroll deductions and payroll tax rates.

Payroll Source Deductions

Click here for current month tax filing deadline dates.

Click here for current payroll tax rates like EI and CPP.

Source deductions are reported on a quarterly, monthly, semi-monthly or weekly basis on form PD7A. Your reporting period is assigned by CRA based on your remitter type (discussed below). Revenue Canada mails the form ahead of your due date enabling you to meet your tax filing deadlines.

You have two options for filing online:

  1. using My Payment
  2. through your financial institution. It may require payment of an initial administration fee to get setup.

For small businesses, monthly filers are the most common reporting period with quarterly filers being the other common period. Currently new employers start as monthly remitters.

In 2016, as per the Federal Budget Economic Action Plan, CRA introduced quarterly remittances for new employers "with monthly withholdings of less than $1000 AND maintain a perfect compliance record in respite of their Canadian tax obligations".


About The Source Deduction Due Date

When an employee is paid (not earned) determines the payroll remittance due date.

Don't confuse this with GAAP guidelines for the matching principle where you record wages when they are earned (worked) not paid.


Meet your tax filing deadline by ensuring you don't make this MISTAKE with the payroll source deductions you have collected in trust.

CRA determines your remitter type by calculating your average monthly withholding amount (AMWA). They add up all source deductions sent over the past two years divided by the numbers of payment periods over one year.

AMWA Assigned Reporting Period Form PD7A Filing Deadline Payment Deadline
L.T. $3,000* Quarterly 15th of April, July, October, January Same as filing deadline
L.T. $25,000
($15,000 prior to 2015)
Monthly 15th day of following month Same as filing deadline
$25,000 to $100,000
($15,000 to $50,000 prior to 2015)
Semi-Monthly 25th day of same month and 10th day of following month Same as filing deadline
G.T. $100,000
($50,000 prior to 2015)
Weekly Due 3rd work day after the period** Same as filing deadline

*Must have perfect payroll tax compliance history over a twelve month period to qualify. If not, you must remit monthly. If you qualify, CRA will notify you.

**Remittances must be done through a Canadian financial institution one full day prior to the due date to avoid penalty charges.

Payroll Checklists - Hiring and Terminating Employees

Ceridian has a number of payroll checklists that you should consider adapting for your own use to ensure you meet all your tax filing deadline obligations as an employer. They have lists for:

  • hiring new employees and requesting their social insurance number (SIN); and
  • terminating an employee and/or preparing the Record of Employment (ROE).

Their website also has an excellent small business payroll year-end guide in their resource section. While the lists are for Ceridian clients, you should be able to modify them for your purposes.

Sometimes, they move the pages around on their website. If by some chance the above link is not working, go to and locate their resources and tools section. Hunt around in that area for "checklists and tips" and you will find it.

Pssst ...... Small Business Owners

Improved Electronic Filing Option at CRA
Meeting tax filing deadlines just got easier with electronic filing access for small business owners. CRA now has the ability to accept electronic returns for under 50 slips. It is fast and easy to use. They have a videocast to watch if it is your first time using this service.1-6 slips uses their free software T4 Web forms.

1-70 slips uses their free software T4 Desktop application

If you are still paper filing, move out of your comfort zone and try e-filing to meet your February T4 tax filing deadlines. You'll find it here:

Requirements for meeting tax filing deadlines - Mandatory E-filing for anyone who submits more than 50 slips.

T4 & T4A Tax Filing Deadines
For Special Situations

Death of Owner

The payroll information return(s) must be filed within 90 days of the death if the owner of the business dies. (Don't forget that you will have to close all CRA accounts after all final returns have been processed and paid.)


The payroll information return(s) must be filed within 30 days from the date thebusiness ceases to operate. (Note: Payroll source deductions must be remitted within 7 days from the date the business ceases.)

50 plus slips

Payroll return must be filed electronically in XML. Paper filing in not an option. (Prior to January 1, 2010, only those with 500 plus slips had to file electronically.)

T4 Late Filing --- Failure to File T4

:-( Penalty Charges :-(

This strategy definitely takes money out of your pocket and does not help you achieve your goal of putting more money in your pocket.

If you can't meet your payroll tax filing deadlines, you absolutely need to consider hiring a bookkeeper to do your payroll.

Not being tax compliant is expensive!

$100 minimum penalty - $7500 maximum penalty ... OUCH!


Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

Click here for current month tax filing deadline dates.

Your GST/HST return is paper filed on form GST34-2 E Personalized Return. The bottom portion of the form includes a line for remitting your payment. Do NOT use forms RC158 GST/HST NETFILE/TELEFILE Remittance Voucher ... or RC177 GST/HST Balance Due Remittance Voucher ... to remit your normal reporting payment. For normal reporting, use RC159 Amount Owing Remittance Voucher or use MY PAYMENT to pay online.

Once you are registered for GST, Revenue Canada mails the form ahead of your deadline. This enables you to meet your tax filing deadline.

Online filing is now available ... making meeting yourtax filing deadlines easier than ever. You should step outside of your comfort zone and try it if you are still filing a paper return. It's quick and easy to use. There are two ways to file online:

  1. GST/HST NETFILE - You will still need thepaper form GST34-2 E Personalized Return sent you as it has your online access code on it.
  2. My Business Account - You will NOT need the access code printed on the paper return. You will need what was formerly referred to as an epass ... no idea what CRA call it since they made changes in October 2010.

Since July 1, 2010, if CRA does not send you your paper form, it was because you are required to file online.

This changed again on October 19, 2015 when CRA began issuing a unique access code to file your GST/HST returns online. You can sign into the CRA website and change the code assigned to one of your choice. CRA also began mailing out only one GST 34-3 E Electronic Filing Information Sheet package for the entire year instead of each filing period. Click here to see what your annual package will contain.

The groups that must file online are registrants with annual taxable supplies of $1.5 million plus, BC or Ontario registrants with RITC requirements between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2018, and builders affected by BC and Ontario HST transitional rules.

If you fail to file in the correct format or file inaccurately, penalties will apply ... beginning after tax filing deadlines ending on or after October 1, 2010.

Not filing electronically will result in a $100 penalty. All subsequent failures result in a $250 penalty for each occurrence.

Filing inaccurately ... not reporting RITCs, grandparented housing rebates, new residential rental property rebates, grandparented housing sales subject to HST, new housing rebates assigned to builders, transitional new housing rebates and tax adjustments ... may be subject to:

  • a $250 penalty; or
  • a 5% penalty on the difference between was should have been reported and what was reported ... plus 1% per month to a maximum of 10% until amounts are corrected.

When filing online (through GST/HST NETFILE or My Business Account) and a balance is owing, you have four ways to pay it:

  1. Pay it using CRA's new online service My Payment. There is a $50,000 threshold.
  2. Pay it online through your financial institution. You have to pay a one time admin fee to begin using this service ... and then transactional service fees.
  3. Setting up a pre-authorized debit agreement through My Business Account.
  4. Pay by cheque but this payment method is not encouraged any more.
    • When paying by cheque, use form RC158 E, GST/HST Netfile/Telefile Remittance Voucher to remit your payment. This form is included on page 9/10 in your mail out from CRA.
    • Page 7/8 of your reporting package has form RC177 E for balance due remittances required for use by annual filers.

                               good bookkeeping practice

Funds Collected In Trust

The biggest mistake new business owners make is to use funds collected in trust to finance their business or personal lifestyle. It creates a vortex many small businesses never climb out of.

It's important to remember GST/HST funds (and payroll source deductions) are collected on behalf of the government. They are held informally in trust by your business until remitted.

Money collected in trust is payable when due. Generally you cannot negotiate repayment terms with CRA for money held in trust like you can with income tax payable.

To reduce the temptation to spend trust funds for your own personal expenses ... or to cover your business expenses, open up a savings account. At regular intervals, transfer your GST/HST collected into this savings account.

When you file your GST/HST quarterly (or annual) reports, pay (or transfer) any amounts owing from this account.

Taking this one action will ensure that you don't have huge tax amounts owing to the CRA which grow due to penalty and interest charges.

CRA can and will collect unremitted trust funds by any means allowed under federal legislation such as seizure and sale of assets, garnishments, and assessment of directors.

If after setting up the savings account you still can't resist dipping into it to finance your business or personal lifestyle, my advice is to be kind to yourself and REMOVE THE TEMPTATION by making CRA installments instead of transfers to your savings account.

Reference Source: CRA> Newsroom> Alert> 2010> Tax alert - Abuse of source deductions and GST/HST amounts held in trust

How is my tax filing deadline determined?

Your tax filing deadline / due date for GST/HST is determined by your reporting period. Reporting periods are determined by your annual sales ... not whether you are a corporation or a sole proprietor.

Annual Sales Assigned Reporting Period Optional Reporting Period GST Filing Deadline GST Payment Deadline GST Installments Due (See Tip)
L.T. 1.5 million Annual NOT Dec 31 yrend Monthly or Quarterly 3 months after year-end 3 months after year-end One month after each of your fiscal QUARTERS
L.T. 1.5 million Annual Dec 31 year-end Monthly or Quarterly June 15 April 30 April 30,
July 31,
Oct 31,
Jan 31
1.5 to 6 million Quarterly Monthly One month after end of reporting period Same as filing deadline Not applicable
G.T. 6 million Monthly No options One month after end of reporting period Same as filing deadline Not applicable

                               good bookkeeping practice

Improve Your Cash Flow

Each assigned reporting period has an optional reporting period that you may opt for. If you are an annual filer, you should consider opting to file quarterly so you can claim your offsetting ITCs faster. Why?

When your net sales tax in a year is $3,000 or more, an annual filer must make equal quarterly installments (reporting them on line 110 of your GST return) in the next year ... without claiming the offsetting ITCs.

Small business owners often intermingle the GST funds collected with their own (instead of holding them in a separate account). Then they end up using the GST funds collected in trust to meet their cash flow requirements ... and get themselves in hot water when the GST funds collected are not available to remit to CRA come filing time.

By opting for a more frequent reporting period, you are less likely to think of the money as your own ... and less tempted to spend the funds held in reserve for the government ... with the added bonus of claiming your ITCs four times a year instead of once a year. That's why my preference is to reduce your risk by filing quarterly.

I've seen some business owners get into financial trouble by failing to meet their tax filing deadlines ... and falling behind on their GST/HST remittances because ... they spent the GST/HST funds. There was no intentional duplicity on their part. It's just that they were positive they had enough input tax credits (ITCs) to offset the payment owing.


Annual GST/HST Filing Deadline

If December 31 is your year-end date ... and you are an annual filer, consider this tip.

To meet the tax filing deadlines requirement and avoid interest charges, pay your GST/HST owing by the Balance Due Date of April 30th, even if you are filing by the June 15th deadline ...

Don't know if you are going to owe a payment or get a refund?

Your bookkeeper should be able to provide a fairly accurate ESTIMATE if your books are up-to-date. (You are getting your books done at least quarterly aren't you? If not, why not?)

If you want to switch from annual filing to quarterly filing (so you can recover your ITCs throughout the year instead of just once a year), it must be done before the end February. Complete Form GST20 Election for GST/HST Reporting Period ... or it can be done over the phone with a CRA representative.

Read more about GST/HST tax compliance here.


Provincial Sales Tax (PST)

Between July 1, 2010 and March 31, 2013, only Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island charge PST. As of April 1, 2013, B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the remaining provinces that have not moved to HST, opting to retain PST.

Background Information: 

BC and Ontario stopped charging PST when HST began on July 1, 2010. The  transitional rules went into effect May 1, 2010.

The final PST return in BC and Ontario was due July 23, 2010. Supplemental returns should have been filed no later than January 23, 2011.

HST filing due dates and deadlines are the same as GST filing due dates. Your HST is filed on the same report as your GST.

On January 1, 2013 Quebec moves to their version of HST with P.E.I transitioning to HST on April 1, 2013.

B.C. however, held a referendum on the HST in July 2011. HST was voted out so PST returned to B.C. on April 1, 2013. You need to know there is now more than one BC PST rate.

To see an up-to-date summary of sales tax by province and territory, click here.

B.C. Provincial Sales Tax (PST)

Click here for current month tax filing deadline dates.

If you are new to PST, check out my chat on PST Basics to get you up and running.

Prior to July 1, 2010, your BC PST tax filing deadlines and due dates were determined as shown in the chart below. BC reverted back to this structure effective April 1, 2013 ... EXCEPT the due dates now tie to the GST/HST due dates.

You can find more information on B.C.'s transition back to PST by clicking on the PST News link found in The Current News button on the site navigation bar.

Annual Taxes Remitted Assigned Reporting Period Optional Reporting Period* OLD PST Filing Deadline NEW PST Filing Deadline PST Payment Deadline
L.T. $3,000 Monthly Quarterly, Semi-Annually, Annually 23rd day following reporting period One month after end of reporting period - same as GST/HST Same as filing deadline
$3,001 to $6,000 Monthly Quarterly, Semi-Annually 23rd day following reporting period One month after end of reporting period - same as GST/HST Same as filing deadline
$6,001 to $12,000 Monthly Quarterly 23rd day following reporting period One month after end of reporting period - same as GST/HST Same as filing deadline
G.T. $12,000 Monthly No Options 23rd day following reporting period One month after end of reporting period - same as GST/HST Same as filing deadline
Seasonal Businesses Customized by Ministry -- 23rd day following reporting period One month after end of reporting period - same as GST/HST Same as filing deadline

New = after March 31, 2013; Old = before July 1, 2010

*Optional reporting periods were at the discretion of the Ministry. Amount of tax remitted, nature of business, and tax compliance history were considered.


Workers' Compensation Board of BC (WCB)

Click here for current month tax filing deadline dates.

Reporting Period Annual Premium Tax Filing Deadline Payment Deadline Annual Report Deadline
Quarterly $1,500 plus April 20,
July 20,
October 20,
January 20
Same as filing deadline February 28 (or 29) for prior year
Annual less than $1,500 March 5th for prior year Same as filing deadline March 5th for prior year

You will receive Form 1820 - Employer's Remittance Form each quarter if you are a quarterly filer.

Towards the end of each year, WCB will send out a letter informing you of your base rate and classification unit for the coming year. This is not a bill so do not make a payment.

Each year, quarterly filers will also receive an Employer Payroll and Contract Labour Report (form 1810). The purpose of the annual report is to reconcile your account for the previous year. It is due February 28 (or 29) each year.

WCB form 1810 non-filing tax compliance penalties

  • $50 for a tier 1 - less than $6,000 annual assessment
  • $150 for a tier 2 - $6,000 to $20,000 annual assessment
  • $500 for a tier 3 - $20,000 to 200,000 annual assessment
  • $1,000 for a tier 4 - $200,000 plus annual assessment

WCB Payment Options

  • online at
  • phone 1-888-922-2768
  • financial institutions - bring bottom portion of form 1810 or 1820
  • any WorkSafeBC office - cheques only, cash payments not accepted
  • mail - cheques only

If your WCB tax compliance rates include a surcharge, you need to do something to reduce it back to the industry average. Learn how The Employers' Advisors can help you.

Small Business Income Tax Returns


Tax Filing Deadlines for Self-Employed

Click here for more 2018/2019 Tax Year self-employed tax filing deadline dates.

Ownership Type Return Type Installments Due
(see note 2)
Filing Deadline Balance Due Deadline
(see note 1)
Spouse's Return
Sole Proprietor T1 (T2125) 15th of March, June, Sep, Dec June 15th each year April 30th each year same due
dates as
your business returns

Note 1 Here's a tip 1 - To avoid interest charges, pay your taxes owing by the Balance Due Date of April 30th, even if you are filing later.

Don't know how much tax is owing - your bookkeeper will be happy to ESTIMATE the amount for you to pay.

Note 2 Your required installments are determined each year when you file your return. There are several options. You may not be required to make any installments. Talk to your bookkeeper or tax preparer.


Tax Filing Deadlines for Corporations

Find more information in The Bookkeeper's Notes on CCPC.

Ownership Type

(see note 4)
Return Type Installments Due
(see note 5)
Filing Deadline
(see note 3)
Balance Due Deadline
(see note 4)
CCPC with passive/investment income T2 last day of month 6 months after year-end balance due 2 months
after year-end
CCPC active business income only T2 last day of month 6 months after year-end balance due 3 months
after year-end

Note 3 Watch out - A return must be filed even if taxes owing are ZERO OR your company is inactive.

Note 4 Small Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPC) must meet conditions for 3 months due date. If the CCPC earns investment income, payment deadline is 2 months after year-end.

  • Active business income (ABI) excludes personal services business income and specified investment business income (also referred to as passive income) such as rents from property and interest, dividends or royalties from investments.

Note 5 There are three installment options to choose from. Choose the one that lets you pay the least amount in installments. CCPC may be eligible for quarterly installments if criteria are met ... one of which is a perfect compliance history.


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Click here for a chat about Corporate Minute Book Requirements.


Directors' Liability for Compliance Taxes

The Toronto tax firm Rotfleisch & Samulovitch's website has various tax tips  Directors' Liability for Taxes.

The conditions under which a director is personally liable for unpaid compliance taxes are examined. It is important to meet your tax filing deadlines to avoid liability. One of the articles explains that:

  • A director is liable with his/her corporation, under the Income Tax Act, "for failure to deduct, withhold or remit income tax, payroll or GST amounts required, along with any related interest or penalty".
  • A director can deduct the legal or accounting fees incurred to challenge the assessment.
  • A director can avoid liability by demonstrating due care and diligence.
  • A director's liability for unpaid source deductions ceases two years AFTER ceasing to be a director of the corporation.

You may want to read about CRA's policy on funds held in trust.

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