Quebec pushes tax filing deadline to relieve economic pressures

The Quebec government will allow citizens to file their taxes as late as June 1. The new deadline provides taxpayers with an additional month to file.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Quebec government will allow citizens to file their taxes as late as June 1. The new deadline provides taxpayers with an additional month to file. Otherwise, taxpayers would have been expected to file no later than April 30 according to the Montreal Gazette.

Finance Minister Eric Girard made the announcement Tuesday and added that any money owing to the government wouldn't have to be paid until July 31.  This measure is taken so that they can offer “a reasonable amount of time” said the finance minister.

“It’s an extremely positive measure,” the minister told reporters Tuesday during a press conference in Quebec City. Individuals and companies “will have more time, more oxygen, more liquidity.”

As for businesses, the Quebec government will also suspend the need for them to pay tax installments and taxes until July 31 as well.

According to Girard, these postponements will inject $7.7 billion of liquidity into the Quebec economy. About $4.5 billion of the total amount will be from personal income taxes. The postponements will affect about 2 million individual taxpayers and 500,000 businesses.

Girard said that although Quebec’s economic future remains uncertain, the province won’t need to borrow the $7.7 billion because the province already has an abundant amount of liquidity available.

“Yes, there is economic uncertainty, but Quebec has never been in a better position from the point of view of public finances and the economy to confront adversity,” Girard said. “All the required resources for health care will be available.”

Minister Girard said the province cannot yet estimate how much the pandemic will cost because it is still very much unknown how long the crisis will last. Quebec does have a $14 billion dollar stabilization reserve however, should things get worse than predicted.

The province is also working on a package to help businesses which will be released “soon” by Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.

“Right now, we’re managing the crisis,” Girard said. “Individuals and companies need us, and we are here for them. There will be other announcements. The federal government will be making announcements, and the government of Quebec will continue to make announcements. And when the situation stabilizes, we will look at stimulating the economy.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is scheduled to make a major announcement on Wednesday regarding his administration’s plans for economic action.