Canada's taxpayers normally don't have to file their annual tax returns until April 30.
Still, our neighbors to the north lost almost a week of tax services when their version of the Internal Revenue Service shut down last week to ensure its online offerings weren't vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) officials, recognizing the problem that the closure might have caused some taxpayers, is letting individual taxpayers file this year as late as May 5.
Those extra days equal the length of the interruption of the national tax agency's online services.
CRA announced the filing news today on its once-again fully operational website:
- The system is back up for everyone. Individuals, businesses and their tax professionals now can file returns, make payments and access all other e-services available through the CRA website without worry about hackers getting the personal and financial data. The extended filing date, however, is specific to individual taxpayers. So businesses, get tax busy!
- And if you bust the new May 5 filing deadline, interest and penalties will be charged. The notice, in the nice Canadian way, phrased it as those charges not being assessed as long as you meet the May date. As a pushy American, I wanted to make sure you knew the consequences of missing it. You will pay more!
Happy filing, Canadians. We U.S. taxpayers welcome you back to the annual game.
And kudos, not blame, to Canadian authorities for taking the steps to ensure residents' confidence in their filing operations.
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