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How the Canada PSAC/CRA Strike Could Affect You

Written by Jessica Steer
It has been rumored that there was a potential strike headed our way for federal government employees. Well, as of April 19, the Public Service Alliance of Canada – Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) called for a general strike. This means that over 39,000 CRA employees are now on strike. The most difficult part of this for Canadians is that it's right during tax season and the tax deadline is fast approaching.
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    How the Strike Affects CRA Services

    The Canada Revenue Agency has noted that certain CRA services will be affected due to the strike. The main services affected are tax returns, CRA call centres and some benefits (mostly those that aren't electronically filed). Anything that requires attention such as call taking and paper returns, will be affected.

    How it Affects Your Taxes

    If you have already filed your yearly tax return then the strike shouldn't really affect you. If you haven't filed your tax return yet, then you could be impacted, though the CRA does mention they will still process the return and get you your money back as soon as they can. It may be a little behind but you will receive it.

    If you owe money to the CRA, all amounts are still due by May 1. If you own your own business, your tax filing deadline isn't until June 15, but the amount owing will still have to be paid by May 1. If you don't make this payment on time, then you will be subject to a penalty. The penalty is 5% of what you owe and then an additional 1% for every month you are late until you have reached 12 months.

    They have made it quite clear that if you file electronically (do your taxes online), any automatic tax refund payments will still be made to you through direct deposit. Payments made via cheque may take longer. The majority of those affected will be those who file their return via paper instead of electronically.

    How the Strike Affects Benefit Payments

    In order to receive your benefit payments, you will have had to file your annual tax return and pay any amounts owing. If you have already filed your tax return then any automatic payments you already have set up will be made. If you haven't yet filed your income taxes, you will continue to receive your benefit returns when you have filed. If you file electronically, there will be no delay.

    These benefits include:

    • Canada Child Benefit
    • Climate Action Tax Credit
    • Canada Pension Plan
    • Old Age Security
    • Guaranteed Income Supplement

    There are many more that fall into this category as well.

    Other Government Services Affected

    While the main area that Canadians are concerned about in regards to the PSAC workers going on strike is the tax impact, there are other government public services that are heavily impacted by the PSAC strike as well.

    1. Employment and Social Development Canada
    2. Service Canada Centres
    3. Citizenship Canada
    4. Indigenous Services Canada
    5. Global Affairs Canada
    6. Veteran affairs Canada

    With these certain services being heavily impacted by the federal workers strike, there can be serious delays in things like Employment Insurance applications, passport applications and many other important public services that many Canadians rely on.

    How Long is the Strike Expected to Last?

    How long the Canada CRA strike lasts will depend on the bargaining groups and if they are able to decide on a fair contract that includes the higher wages that the employees are asking for. The Treasury Board and the PSAC are now working to come up with fair wage increases and have the labour disruption end as soon as possible.

    What if You Need Money in the Meantime?

    If you are one of the Canadians whose tax refund is impacted by the strike action, we can help. At Spring Financial, we offer personal loans starting at just 9.99% with amounts ranging from $500 to $35,000. All of our personal loans can also be paid off at any time, meaning you can pay off the full balance at any time with no extra fees or penalties. Apply online in just minutes to see what you can get approved for today.

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