COVID-19 – Taxes, labour, driver’s licence, immigration: what to keep in mind (1)
Several measures have been announced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s an overview.
You have until June 1, 2020 to file your tax return.
One exception: the tax deadline for individuals who operated a business and for their spouse remains June 15, 2020.
Revenu Québec is prioritizing tax returns involving a refund. If you have taxes to pay, you have until September 1, 2020, to do so without penalty.
If you have a payment agreement for a tax debt, Revenu Québec pledges to be flexible.
The June 15 instalment has been pushed back to September 1, 2020.
Garnishment of amounts by employers or financial institutions
All garnishments for tax debts have been suspended. Please note: collection of support payments continues.
For more information about tax measures, see the Revenu Québec website.
The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) has relaxed certain requirements:
- No penalties if you are unable to get to your medical appointments, treatments or other. If your absence is due to the pandemic, you will not lose your income replacement indemnity.
- Reimbursed cost of treatments carried out by phone or online if the treatments comply with the rules of the professional order concerned.
- Streamlining of procedure for the For a Safe Maternity Experience program. If a pregnant woman is at risk for COVID‑19, she may stop work even before seeing her physician.
For more information, see the FAQ page of the CNESST website.
Returning to work during the pandemic
The CNESST has an information and awareness kit for going back to work. The kit is designed for employers and employees alike.
Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW)
Do you work in an essential service sector and earn $550 gross per week or less? You can receive a supplement of $100 for every week worked. The measure takes effect on May 19, 2020. Backdated to March 15, 2020, it covers up to 16 weeks.
To find out more, see the Revenu Québec website.
Driver's licences and stickers
The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) encourages the use of its online services to pay for:
- disabled parking permit renewal;
- driver’s licence renewal.
Note that driver’s licences that expired in March, April or May 2020 will be renewed automatically. You do not have to apply for renewal. The SAAQ will use the most recent photo in your file and mail your new licence to you. You will receive a notice of payment later.
Certain transactions may take place at service outlets, but you have to make an appointment first. The SAAQ recommends using the Service outlets tab on its website.
If necessary, you can make an appointment by phone at:
- 1-855-564-3170 (for individuals);
- 1-855-564-3048 (for businesses).
You can also contact the registration and licencing agent nearest you.
For general questions, call 1-800-361-7620 or visit the SAAQ website.
Driving tests and ability assessments
All road tests have been suspended until further notice. However, knowledge tests have resumed for people who made an appointment in March, April or May.
For now, new disabled parking permits are not being issued.
However, you can pay to renew your permit at your banking institution or by mail. Your certificate and sticker will be mailed to you when normal activities resume. In the meantime, police forces will take the situation into account. Keep the sticker even if it has expired.
Foreign students whose CAQ has expired may extend their stay until December 31, 2020. They must apply to the federal government for an extension. They do not have to enclose a new CAQ.
For further information, see the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration website.
Dissatisfied with the services provided by a Government of Québec department or agency? You can file a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman. Our services are free and confidential.
This article was updated on May 22, 2020.