The Ontario Trucking Association received a response from the Ministry of Finance clarifying the requirements of paying fuel tax under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the impact of the relief measures announced by the Government of Ontario last week amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“The five-month penalty-free and interest-free period applies to tax reporting and remittance deadlines occurring between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. Unpaid, underpaid or late returns from previous deadlines are not included in the relief period. With the first and second quarter IFTA returns having due dates within this window (April 30, July 31), returns for those two periods filed by Ontario licensees will be eligible for this relief,” the minister stated.
“If it is possible to file on time and pay in full, licensees are encouraged to do so and we will continue to accommodate businesses that can file and pay on-time. However, relief will ensure that penalties and interest will not accrue if they are unable to file and/or pay on time. If a licensee misses their filing and/or payment deadline or submits an incomplete payment, no penalties or interest will apply during the April 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020 period.”
Ontario businesses are required to file any late returns or payments by the end of the relief period. The Ministry will continue to review what challenges businesses are experiencing in light of COVID-19 and develop rules around returning to normal accordingly. If there is a transition plan, or other changes to the relief period, it will be communicated to all tax clients before the relief period ends.
Further details regarding the Interest and Penalty Relief for Businesses can be found here.”
“The trucking industry recognizes that society is more than ever counting on the industry to deliver the essential products needed for everyday life. However, operating costs and fixed costs for things as equipment remain the same during this crisis as the industry faces dramatic reductions in revenues because of skyrocketing empty miles. The options and flexibility provided in these measures, therefore, are very much welcomed by OTA. The government is in sync with businesses on effective options that can provide immediate relief if needed,” said Geoff Wood, Senior VP, Policy, Ontario Trucking Association.