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Thousands of Canadian seniors scramble to file taxes following federal error – Global News

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It has been a taxing time for tens of thousands of Canadian seniors who haven’t been able to file their 2021 tax returns yet.

Global News has heard from a number of seniors scrambling to meet the May 2, 2022 deadline, due to their federal slips not yet arriving.

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Read more:

Canadians in for another ‘unique’ tax season amid COVID challenges, CRA says

Dave Sim, 80, of Calgary has been checking his mailbox daily — but no luck yet.

“This is getting ridiculous,” he told Global News.

Employers and other payers have a deadline of Feb. 28 to provide an information slip, usually a T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid, which informs the recipient and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) exactly how much was earned in the previous year.

But this year, some seniors faced a delay that was no fault of their own.

“It gets a craw in my backside,” Sim said. “I can’t believe they (federal government) can’t adhere to their own law.”

Sim is on Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and is worried if he doesn’t get the information to the CRA on time, he may not receive the various benefits he’s entitled to and can’t go without.

“No we can’t. We’ll have to go looking to borrow money from the family.”

Watch:

Ask the Expert: Filing your income taxes for 2021

Shirley Maier operates Total Tax & Accounting in Calgary. Not only has she, as a senior, faced a delay personally, so have many of her clients.

“I had quite of a few of them panicking,” she said.

She agreed that the biggest concern she’s hearing is the possible loss of much-needed benefits if the deadline is missed.

“You have to file by the due date, which this year is May 2,” she said. “And if you’re entitled to some supplements, those begin in July.

“So if you’re late filing, you could very well miss your first payment.”

Federal government response

Global News reached out to the federal government for a response.

In a statement, Employment and Social Development Canada officials said:

“There will be no impact as individuals have until May 2, 2022 to file.”

It went on to describe what happened.

“In August 2021, Service Canada issued the One-Time Payment of $500 for Older Seniors (OTP) to 3.4 million seniors who will be 75 by June 2022. Service Canada is obligated to issue a T4A tax slip to recipients.

“However, due to an administrative error, a limited number (67,797) of OTP recipients received an incorrect tax slip in which the payment amount of $500 was entered into the document twice.”

The statement also said Service Canada acted immediately to correct the error and prevent further incorrect tax slips from being sent. It then sent amended tax slips in time for the tax filing season.


Click to play video: 'Tips to file your taxes as tax season approaches'



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Tips to file your taxes as tax season approaches


Tips to file your taxes as tax season approaches – Jan 24, 2022

But Maier questioned that response, adding she too got her slips late, and she is not 75 years old, so it could not have just happened to those 75 years or older.

Global News put that question to the government, but has not yet heard back.

Read more:

CRA to focus on collection efforts ahead of tax season, documents show

Officials did say seniors are able to log in to their “My Account” on the CRA website to get the updated and correct information.

But Maier said that’s not really an option for all her senior clients.

“First of all, they don’t have computers,” she said. “Second of all, they don’t have printers. And third of all, they don’t have the wherewithal to sign up for My Account at Revenue Canada or Service Canada.”


Click to play video: 'Tax Tips: Credits & benefits to save you money before time runs out'



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Tax Tips: Credits & benefits to save you money before time runs out


Tax Tips: Credits & benefits to save you money before time runs out – Apr 14, 2021

Sim does his own taxes but said he will not do them online.

“I am old school,” he said. “I like to have the paper and know what I’m doing with it. Then I enter it on the tax return.”

Federal officials said all seniors affected by the error should receive their tax slips no later than the week of March 14, a deadline that has already passed for Sim.

“I’ve got to wait. What are you going to do?”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Inflation in Canada: Finance ministers meet

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TORONTO – The two big spending pressures on the federal government right now are health care and the global transition to a clean economy, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday.
After hosting an in-person meeting with the provincial and territorial finance ministers, Freeland said U.S. President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes electric-vehicle incentives that favour manufacturers in Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S., has changed the playing field when it comes to the global competition for capital.

“I cannot emphasize too strongly how much I believe that we need to seize the moment and build the clean economy of the 21st century,” Freeland said during a news conference held at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

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“This is a huge economic opportunity.”

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Canada needs to invest in the transition in order to potentially have an outsized share in the economy of the future, she said, or it risks being left behind.

This year in particular will be an important year for attracting capital to Canada, she said, calling for the provinces and territories to chip in.

“This is a truly historic, once-in-a-generation economic moment and it will take a team Canada effort to seize it.”

At the same time, Freeland spoke of the need for fiscal restraint amid economic uncertainty.

“We know that one of the most important things the federal government can do to help Canadians today is to be mindful of our responsibility not to pour fuel on the fire of inflation,” she said.

Freeland said these two major spending pressures, which were among the topics prioritized at Friday’s meeting, come at a time of a global economic slowdown which poses restraint on government spending.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to meet with the premiers Feb. 7 to discuss a long-awaited deal on health-care spending. The provinces have been asking for increases to the health transfer to the tune of billions of dollars.

Freeland said it’s clear that the federal government needs to invest in health care and reiterated the government’s commitment to doing so but would not say whether she thinks the amount the provinces are asking for in increased health transfers is feasible.

“It’s time to see the numbers,” Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard said Friday afternoon, in anticipation of the Feb. 7 meeting.

The meeting of the finance ministers comes at a tense time for many Canadian consumers, with inflation still running hot and interest rates much higher than they were a year ago.

The ministers also spoke with Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem Friday and discussed the economic outlook for Canada and the world, said Freeland.

“We’re very aware of the uncertainty in the global economy right now,” said Freeland. “Inflation is high and interest rates are high.”

“Things are tough for a lot of Canadians and a lot of Canadian families today and at the federal level, this is a time of real fiscal constraint.”

The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate again last week, bringing it to 4.5 per cent, but signalled it’s taking a pause to let the impact of its aggressive hiking cycle sink in.

The economy is showing signs of slowing, but inflation was still high at 6.3 per cent in December, with food prices in particular remaining elevated year over year.

Interest rates have put a damper on the housing market, sending prices and sales downward for months on end even as the cost of renting went up in 2022.

Meanwhile, the labour market has remained strong, with the unemployment rate nearing record lows in December at five per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2023.

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Federal government is in a tight fiscal environment, Freeland says ahead of health talks – CBC.ca

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Federal government is in a tight fiscal environment, Freeland says ahead of health talks  CBC.ca

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Suspected Chinese spy balloon flew over Canadian airspace: sources – CTV News

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  1. Suspected Chinese spy balloon flew over Canadian airspace: sources  CTV News
  2. Canadian pilots were warned of ‘untethered balloon’ amid China surveillance concerns  Global News
  3. U.S. military shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon off Carolina coast  CBC.ca

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