Freelancers and self-employed people and their spouses can take advantage of an extended tax filing deadline
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) knows that self-employed people have to do a lot more work in order to file their tax returns. You’ve got a lot of receipts to go through and a business to run at the same time. Consequently they make a concession and allow you an extended tax filing deadline to June 15*.
This applies even if some of your income comes from a regular salaried job. So long as you have any freelance or self-employment income, you have until June 15* to file.
Moreover, because your spouse’s return is affected by your return, your spouse (or common-law partner) is allowed the same filing extension.
One caveat: the extended tax filing deadline applies to filing your return, not to paying your taxes.
All income tax is payable on April 30* regardless of when you do (or can) file your return. Interest (currently sitting at 5% per year) applies to any payments made after that date.
But interest amounts tend to be much less than late filing penalties. In practical terms, if you file anytime between April 30 and the June 15 extended tax filing deadline*, your maximum interest on the tax payable is a little over half a percent.
So if you’re a self-employed person or a freelancer and you suddenly realize it’s nearly May* and you haven’t filed yet — don’t panic. There’s still time.
* The filing deadline is June 15 for self-employed people and their spouses, and April 30 for everyone else; the payment deadline is April 30 for everyone. Note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, filing and payment deadlines have changed for 2019 tax returns (returns due in 2020). The April 30 filing deadline has been pushed back to June 1, 2020, while the payment deadline has moved to September 1, 2020. The filing deadline for self-employed people remains June 15, 2020.