What’s new for Canadian taxes in March 2021.

April 1, 2021

Let’s review what’s new with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) this month which might affect your tax situation. This monthly update includes:

Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).

The federal government has extended the CEWS and CERS programs until at least June 5, 2021. The current rates for these subsidies remain the same. To learn more about the CEWS and the CERS, check out this blog on COVID-19 relief measures for businesses.

Extension to apply for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) interest-free loan.

The CEBA is an interest-free $40,000 loan, plus an additional $20,000 for eligible small businesses and not-for-profits. The deadline to apply for this loan has been extended to June 30, 2021. Businesses can apply for the CEBA through their banks or credit unions. To learn more, check out this blog on COVID-19 relief measures for businesses.

Official changes to COVID-19 benefits and EI regular benefits.

On March 18th this year, the federal government approved changes to some COVID-19 benefits and EI regular benefits. This means:

  • You can now receive the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) for up to 38 weeks (the previous limit is 26 weeks);
  • You can now receive the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) for up to 4 weeks (the previous limit is 2 weeks); and
  • If you apply for EI regular benefits between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021, you can now receive these benefits for up to 50 weeks (the previous limit is 26 weeks).

2021 Ontario budget: new tax credits and more COVID-19 relief.

The 2021 provincial budget for Ontario was announced this month, including new tax credits and more COVID-19 relief. These changes will impact your 2021 return.

Another payment of the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit.

Families in Ontario whose household income is up to $150,000 might be able to claim a one-time top-up of the CARE credit for extra help with childcare expenses. The top-up is 20% of what you can normally claim for this credit, meaning you’ll get 20% more when you file your 2021 return. To be eligible for the CARE credit, you must also be eligible for the federal childcare expenses deduction.

New Ontario jobs training tax credit.

The Ontario jobs training tax credit is a new temporary credit for 2021 only. If you’re eligible for this credit, you can claim 50% of your eligible tuition fees, up to $2000.

You might be able to claim this credit if you’re between the ages of 25 and 65, and you also claim the federal Canada training credit. More details are coming soon.

Ontario COVID-19 child benefit.

If your family has children who are in Grade 12 or younger, you’ll receive $400 for each child.

If your family has children under the age of 21 who have disabilities, you’ll receive $500 for each child.

This benefit is tax-free. It replaces (and doubles) the Support for Families and Support for Learners.

More details are coming soon on how to apply for this benefit. If you received the Support for Families or Support for Learners, you’ll automatically receive the Ontario COVID-19 child benefit, and you won’t need to submit another application.

Seniors’ home safety tax credit.

If you’re planning renovations to make your home safer and more accessible in 2021, you might be able to claim the seniors’ home safety tax credit on your 2021 return. Check out this blog on new credits for 2020 and 2021 to learn more about this credit.

Another payment of the Ontario small business support grant.

The Ontario small businesses support grant was announced in January 2021. Small businesses who already received the first grant will automatically receive a second payment.

Doubling the regional opportunities investment tax credit.

The regional opportunities investment tax credit will temporarily be doubled. This means you can now claim 20% for what you paid to build, fix, or buy eligible commercial and industrial buildings in some regions of Ontario, if those expenses were between $50,000 and $500,000.

Over 800,000 taxpayers locked out of their CRA online accounts.

Over 800,000 taxpayers have been locked out of their CRA My Account after an investigation revealed that their usernames and passwords might have been obtained by “unauthorized third parties.”

If you received a notification saying your CRA user ID and password have been revoked when you tried to log into your CRA My Account, don’t panic. This is a preventative measure and your personal information hasn’t been compromised.

How do I regain access to my account?

Before calling the CRA, try:

  • Using a different login method, such as a different CRA user ID and password (if you have one), your banking login, or your BC Services Card; or
  • Registering for a new CRA user ID by following the steps on the CRA website. While you’re waiting for a new security code to be mailed to you, you can still NETFILE your return and apply for COVID-19 emergency benefits.

You might not be able to use these options if your account is locked or if the address you have on file with the CRA is incorrect. If you still aren’t able to access your account, you should call the CRA.

To learn more about the security of your CRA My Account, visit the CRA website.

Mistakes on T4A slips issued by the CRA.

If you received COVID-19 emergency benefits this year, you’ll receive a T4A slip reporting the amount you received.

If you notice the amount shown on your T4A slip doesn’t match the amount you need to report on your return, for example, if you’ve repaid some of your federal emergency benefits but this wasn’t deducted from the amount on your slip, you should contact the CRA right away. You should also contact the CRA if you received a T4A slip showing you received COVID-19 emergency benefits but never applied for them.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to file your return by April 30, 2021, even if you’re waiting for the CRA to resolve an issue with your T4A slip. You can check your CRA My Account for your updated slip (registration required).

The deadline to file your 2020 return is April 30, 2021.

The deadline to file your 2020 return is April 30, 2021.

If you’re self-employed, your deadline to file is June 15, 2021. Keep in mind that if you owe taxes, your payment is still due on April 30, 2021.

If you and your spouse are preparing your returns together and only one of you is self-employed, you can still file both returns by June 15, 2021 as long as any balance owing is paid by April 30, 2021.

If you received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or COVID-19 emergency benefits in 2020 and your taxable income was less than $75,000, you won’t have to pay the taxes you owe until April 30, 2022. This applies to employed and self-employed individuals. However, you still need to file your return by April 30, 2021 to avoid late filing penalties.

Ready to file? H&R Block can help you get through this year’s tax changes. Choose from one of four convenient ways to file: File in an Office, Drop-off at an Office, Remote Tax Expert, or Do It Yourself Tax Software.

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