The Canada Revenue Agency says it will not extend the deadline to file taxes even if thousands of its workers go on strike amid an ongoing labour dispute.
“There are no plans to extend the T1 tax filing deadlines, as a potential strike in no way impedes the ability of Canadians to file their taxes electronically or on paper,” an agency spokesperson told Global News in an email Thursday.
“Canadians should take steps to ensure their return is filed by May 1, 2023, along with payment for any balance owing.”
As of Friday, more than 35,000 agency workers, represented by the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), were in a legal position to strike after voting ended last week.
That’s in addition to the 122,000 other Public Service Alliance of Canada federal workers who entered a strike position as of Wednesday.
The labour dispute over contracts, wages and remote work comes as the May 1 deadline to file income tax and benefit returns for 2022 is approaching.
In the event of a strike, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has warned some services may be delayed or unavailable.
Specifically, the CRA anticipates there may be delays in processing some income tax and benefit returns, particularly those filed by paper, and increased wait times in contact centres.
Even if there is a labour disruption, the agency says on its website that benefit payments will be prioritized and the child benefit will continue.
As negotiations continue, CRA is encouraging Canadians to file their taxes “as soon as possible, not only this year but every year.”
A final round of negotiations between PSAC and CRA is set for April 17-20.
The impending walk-off, which would be “one of the largest strikes in Canadian history” according to PSAC’s national president Chris Aylward, could disrupt and delay access to several federal services.
PSAC, one of Canada’s largest unions, represents nearly 230,000 workers in every province and territory in Canada, including more than 120,000 federal public service workers employed by Treasury Board, and more than 35,000 employed by the CRA.
— with files from Global News’ Aaron D’Andrea