TIMING OF MAIL DEEMED RECEIVED BY CRA

Issue 420, August 2016

Recent labour disputes at Canada Post with the labour unions have highlighted the importance of the Income Tax Act, jurisprudence and CRA’s administration policy surrounding when certain types of mail and payments are deemed to be received by CRA.

processing time for online payments by a corporation

Any mail, other than the remittance of an amount withheld or deducted (most often, a source deduction), or a payment by a corporation, sent by first class mail or its equivalent, is deemed to be received by CRA the day it was sent (Subsection 248(7)).

Though Canada Post no longer provides first class mail, CRA has acknowledged that Canada Post “letter mail” would be considered equivalent (see 2012 CRA/CPA Alberta Roundtable, Question 23 and Liao vs. H.M.Q., 2010-1861(GST)I). In addition, CRA has acknowledged in the same Roundtable Question and IT-433R, Paragraph 4, that an “item entrusted to a courier service for prompt delivery is considered equivalent to first class mail”.

CRA has also stated in the Roundtable Question that it is a unified organization and, therefore, would accept returns received by any Tax Services Office as being on time, provided they were received, or deemed received, by the due date.

Historically, even during labour disputes, Canada Post has delivered “essential cheques”. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers have confirmed they would continue to deliver “essential cheques” (Working Income Tax Benefit and Canada Child Benefit) during any July 2016 work stoppage. All other benefit payments are not considered essential and may not be delivered until normal operations are resumed at Canada.

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