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When are Canadian taxes due for small businesses?

With 2023 coming to a close, business owners are starting to organize all their documents in preparation for the upcoming tax season. The business tax filing deadline in Canada varies based on your business structure. Small businesses that operate as sole proprietorships or partnerships have different filing deadlines than those run as corporations. 

In this article, we’ll highlight the tax deadlines for 2024, explain what happens if you file your taxes late, and review the GST/HST and QST (if in Québec) return filing and payment deadlines.

Personal income tax deadlines

Every year, all Canadians are required to fill out a personal income tax return. This is where you enter your income and expenses, and claim any tax credits for which you’re eligible. The deadline to file your personal income tax return is April 30 every year.

Note that if that date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or statutory holiday, applications and payments are considered on time as long as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives it by the following business day.

Small business tax deductions

If you’re self-employed, you may be wondering which tax deductions you’re eligible for in Canada. There are various tax write-offs you can make, such as your home office, vehicle expenses, advertising, and marketing, to name a few. You may consider seeking professional advice from an accountant, who can help optimize your small business taxes. Learn more about small business deductions and tax preparation.

Corporate tax filing deadlines

For business owners who have incorporated, they can choose their own tax year. Simply, put, a tax year is a corporation’s fiscal period, which is different for every business. So each business has a unique corporate tax return deadline.

Keep in mind that corporation tax returns must be filed no later than 6 months after the end of the tax year. For instance, if a corporation’s tax year ends on March 31, its filing deadline will be September 30. If the corporate fiscal period ends on October 15, their income tax filing due date will be April 15 of the following year.

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Tax return deadlines for 2024

Here’s a summary of the tax deadlines to save in your calendar:

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GST/HST and QST (if in Québec) filing and payment deadlines

If your business collects provincial sales tax (whether it’s PST, GST, or HST and QST (if in Québec)) when you sell goods or services, you may be wondering when you need to file a GST/HST return. Your filing and payment deadlines will be based on whether you have a monthly, quarterly, or annual (calendar year or fiscal year) reporting period.

If you have a monthly or quarterly reporting period, your GST/HST and QST (if in Québec) filing and payment deadline is one month after the end of your reporting period. For example, if your business’s reporting period ended on July 31, your sales tax filing deadline and payment deadline would fall on August 31.

For annual reporting periods, businesses can expect their GST/HST and QST (if in Québec) filing and payment deadlines to fall 3 months after their fiscal year-end. For instance, if the reporting period is August 31, the deadline for sales tax filing and payments is November 30.

What happens if I file my taxes late?

Tax returns must be postmarked or filed electronically by the deadline given. If you’ve missed the boat on filing your tax return, the CRA can charge you penalties and interest

If you’re expecting a GST/HST and QST (if in Québec) refund or rebate, it will be held back until you file your taxes. What’s more, if your business operates as a sole proprietorship or partnership, any personal income tax refund you’re expecting will also be put on hold. 

So be sure to mark the tax deadlines in your calendar so you remember to file your tax return on time.

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