COVID-19: FAQ for Individuals

This page presents answers to the most frequently asked questions we have received in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. We hope they give you the information you need.

For information about important deadlines you need to meet to fulfill your tax obligations, see COVID-19 Summary Table: Deadlines for Individuals.

For information about COVID-19 relief measures, see Relief Measures for Individuals and Businesses.

Income tax return

What is the deadline for filing my income tax return?

The deadline for filing your income tax return for 2019 has been extended to June 1, 2020.

What is the deadline for paying an income tax balance for 2019?

For individuals and individuals in business, the deadline for paying an income tax balance for 2019 has been extended from September 1 to September 30, 2020.

Note
If you received a notice of assessment for the 2019 taxation year showing that you have until April 30, 2020, to pay the balance due, note that this information is no longer up to date. You now have until September 30, 2020, to pay the balance.
What's happening with instalment payments?

If you are required to make instalment payments, the June 15 and September 15 payments can be made as late as September 30, 2020.

Should I wait to file my income tax return?

If you expect to receive a refund, you should file your return right away to get it as soon as possible.

I have already filed my income tax return. Will it be processed? If so, how long will it take?

Yes. Revenu Québec is continuing to process income tax returns. Although the time it takes can vary, we aim to process your return within 14 working days if it is filed online. 

You can track the status of your return in My Account for individuals or using the Refund Info-Line service.

Please note that we are prioritizing personal income tax returns involving a refund.

Will I be charged a late-filing penalty if I can't file my income tax return by June 1, even if income tax balances are not due before September 30, 2020?

Since the deadline for paying an income tax balance has been postponed to September 30, 2020, you will not be charged a late-filing penalty if you file your income tax return by September 30, 2020. However, you should still file your income tax return promptly to receive the amounts you are entitled to.

Tax credits and social programs

My daycare is closed, but I'm still getting advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses. What do I do?

You have three options:

  1. Reduce the number of days. You will receive smaller advance payments for the rest of the year.
  2. Stop the payments. When your daycare reopens, you can apply to have your advance payments resume.
  3. Do nothing. Your advance payments will continue unchanged, but you will have to pay back any overpayment you received when you file your income tax return in spring 2021.

See the example below. 

  • Your initial application concerned only one child for a period of 52 weeks.
  • Your childcare service is closed for 7 weeks (from March 16, 2020, to May 1, 2020).
  • You receive payments of $450 per month. 

If you choose option 1 (reduce the number of days), your payments for the rest of the year will be reduced until the end of the year. If this change takes effect on April 15, 2020, your monthly payments will therefore decrease, as of May 1, 2020, by roughly $300 per month until December.

If you choose option 3 (do nothing), you will have to repay the excess amounts you received during the year (approximately $700) when you file your 2020 income tax return in spring 2021. 

Please use My account for individuals to make your changes. To register or log in, see My Account for individuals.

Note
Since we are currently operating with reduced staff, we cannot make these changes over the phone.
I receive advance payments of the tax credit for home-support services for seniors but did not file my application to renew the payments by the deadline. Since I'm self-isolating, how can I continue to receive advance payments?

If your application to renew advance payments of the tax credit for home-support services for seniors was due March 17, 2020, or later, Revenu Québec is giving you extra time to file your application. We are following the health crisis closely and will determine a new deadline at a later date.

You will continue to receive your advance payments in the meantime. If your application period expired and you are unable to send us your renewal information, we will use the information from last year's application to ensure you continue to receive payments.

If you already have all the documents you normally need to renew your application and can easily send them to us, please do so.

Note that if we learn that you are no longer eligible for advance payments, we will take action accordingly.

I receive payments under the shelter allowance program. Should I be worried that I have to renew my payments in the next few months?

No. To make things easier for you in the short- and medium-term, you have an additional two months to file your renewal application.

You now have until December 1, 2020, to file your application with Revenu Québec.

I've lost my job. What will happen to my advance payments of the work premium?

It depends on your situation:

  • If you have lost your job permanently, contact Revenu Québec to have your payments stopped. If they are not, you will have to repay the overpayments to Revenu Québec when you file your 2020 income tax return.
  • If you have lost your job temporarily (3 or more weeks), you have two options:
    • Do nothing. Your advance payments will continue, but you will have to repay the overpayments to Revenu Québec when you file your 2020 income tax return.
    • Contact Revenu Québec to have your payments stopped.
Is Revenu Québec still making solidarity tax credit payments?

Yes. In accordance with the law, Revenu Québec will pay the solidarity tax credit on the usual dates.

For individuals who were able to file their 2019 income tax return on time, the solidarity tax credit will be paid as explained on their notice of determination.

For individuals who were unable to file their return on time, the solidarity tax credit will be calculated based on the amounts they received in July 2019, August 2019 and September 2019.

The individuals in question will receive the entire estimated amount in a single payment in July 2020. They are still required to file the 2019 income tax return and Schedule D to ensure they receive all the amounts they may be entitled to.

Revenu Québec will require individuals to pay back the following:

  • amounts paid to them if they fail to file a 2019 income tax return;
  • overpayments determined further to processing their income tax returns.
Will my solidarity tax credit payments still be used to repay my debts?

Since May 2020, payments of the solidarity tax credit have generally not been used to repay debts other than support debts.

However, this temporary measure ended on July 13, 2020, meaning that your solidarity tax credit payments can once again be used to repay debts as of that date. This does not apply to balances of income tax due for 2019 where the payment deadline was extended to September 30, 2020.

I receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Am I eligible for advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses?

If you receive CERB payments, you are not automatically entitled to advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses. To receive advance payments, you must have incurred childcare expenses, and you or your spouse must be:

  • carrying out the duties of an office or employment;
  • actively carrying on a business;
  • carrying out research under a grant;
  • actively seeking employment;
  • enrolled at an educational institution in a program of at least three weeks as a full-time (at least 10 hours per week devoted to courses or assignments) or part-time (at least 12 hours per month devoted to courses) student; or
  • receiving benefits under the Québec parental insurance plan (QPIP) or benefits related to a birth or adoption under the Employment Insurance plan.

Click Advance Payments of the Tax Credit for Childcare Expenses for more information.

I receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses. Do I need to inform Revenu Québec?

If you receive advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses, you do not need to inform us that you receive CERB payments.

You will continue to be eligible for advance payments while receiving CERB payments as long as you incur childcare expenses and you or your spouse is:

  • carrying out the duties of an office or employment;
  • actively carrying on a business;
  • carrying out research under a grant;
  • actively seeking employment;
  • enrolled at an educational institution in a program of at least three weeks as a full-time (at least 10 hours per week devoted to courses or assignments) or part-time (at least 12 hours per month devoted to courses) student; or
  • receiving benefits under the Québec parental insurance plan (QPIP) or benefits related to a birth or adoption under the Employment Insurance plan.

If you or your spouse ceases to be in one of the above situations for the rest of 2020, expenses you incurred while receiving CERB payments are not eligible, in which case you must cancel your advance payments in My Account for individuals.

If you or your spouse ceases to be in one of the above situations temporarily, you can:

  • Cancel your advance payments. If one of the situations applies again and you notify us by November 15, 2020, your payments will resume. You can also claim the rest of your tax credit in your income tax return. If one of the situations will apply again in 2021, you must file a new application.
  • Do nothing, and your payments will continue.

Note that you will have to repay any overpayments you received when you file your income tax return in the spring of 2021.

Click Advance Payments of the Tax Credit for Childcare Expenses for more information.

Employment expenses related to teleworking

Important

The information below is for employees who are teleworking because of COVID-19.

If I incurred COVID-19-related teleworking expenses in 2020, will I be reimbursed for them?

You will not be reimbursed for these expenses, unless you and your employer had an agreement to that effect. In that case, your employer—and not Revenu Québec—will reimburse you.

However, when you file your 2020 income tax return, you may be entitled to a deduction for the teleworking expenses you incurred in 2020 because of COVID-19. These expenses will reduce your taxable income.

What are the criteria for deducting some of my COVID-19-related teleworking expenses in 2020?

When filing your 2020 income tax return, you can deduct some expenses incurred in 2020 if:

  • you paid your own expenses;
  • you worked from home over 50% of the time for at least one month (four weeks without interruption) because of COVID-19;
  • your employer did not or will not reimburse you for the expenses.
What employment expenses qualify for a deduction?

The most common teleworking expenses are listed below.

Deductible expenses

You can deduct the following expenses:

  • paper, pencils, ink cartridges, staples, paperclips, envelopes and pens;
  • postage fees;
  • home Internet access fees;
  • work-related long-distance calls;  
  • cellphone calls (including mobile plan fees or prepaid airtime fees, provided they are calculated in proportion to your use of the phone for work);
  • heating, electricity, cleaning products, lightbulbs and minor repairs;
  • the portion of public utilities expenses included in your condo fees, if applicable;
  • a reasonable part of your rent related to the home office space.

Non-deductible expenses

You cannot deduct the following expenses:

  • office furniture (desk, chair, etc.);
  • office equipment (printer, fax machine, briefcase, laptop case or bag, calculator, etc.);
  • the purchase of a cellphone, computer, laptop, tablet, fax machine, etc.);
  • computer accessories (monitor, mouse, keyboard, headset, microphone, speakers, webcam, router, etc.);
  • the rental value of the home office, if you own your home;
  • monthly landline telephone expenses;
  • cellphone licencing or activation fees;
  • other electronics (television, smart speakers, digital assistant, etc.);
  • insurance premiums, taxes and property taxes related to your office, unless you are an employee paid by commission;
  • capital cost allowance;
  • mortgage interest;
  • mortgage capital payments;
  • capital expenditures (replacement of windows, floors, furnace, etc).
How do I deduct teleworking-related employment expenses?

Calculating eligible home office expenses

Whether you own or rent the dwelling where your home office space is, you must use a reasonable basis for calculating office space expenses. For example, you could use the proportion of the office space's surface area versus your home's total surface area.

You must also take other possible uses of the home office space into account, such as your personal or business use of the space, or its use for other employment.

For example, if the office space accounts for 25% of your home's total surface area and you use the office space 80% of the time for employment activities, you can deduct the following:

  • 20% (25% x 80%) of the expenses related to your office space, and
  • 20% of your rent (if you rent your home).

If the office space is used for employment activities 100% of the time, you can use only its surface area to determine the portion of expenses to deduct (25% in the example given above). This percentage applies to both the supplies used for employment activities and, if you rent your home, the amount of rent you can deduct.

Methods for claiming the deduction

If you are an employee who teleworked in 2020 because of COVID-19, you can use one of the following two methods to claim a deduction for employment expenses: 

  • the temporary fixed rate method;
  • the detailed method.

The temporary fixed rate method lets you deduct $2 from your income for each day you teleworked at home (do not take into account holidays, sick days and vacation) up to a maximum of $400 for the year. If you use the detailed method, you must calculate all your eligible expenses. See the examples below to determine which method is best for you. You can also use a tool that will be available in January 2021.

If you use the temporary fixed rate method, complete only Part 1 and Part 2 of form TP-59.S-V, Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic (available in January 2021) and enclose it with your income tax return. Your employer does not have to complete form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions, for you, and you do not have to keep supporting documents.

If you use the detailed method, enclose the following forms with your income tax return:  

  • Expenses Related to Working Remotely Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic (form TP-59.S-V) (complete Part 1 and Part 3);
  • General Employment Conditions (form TP-64.3-V), completed and signed by your employer.

If you incurred other types of employment expenses, do not use form TP-59.S-V. Use form TP-59-V, Employment Expenses of Salaried Employees and Employees Who Earn Commissions.  

Example of the temporary fixed rate method and the detailed method for a homeowner

Julie is a salaried employee who has been teleworking since April 1, 2020, because of COVID-19. She had to incur some expenses that her employer will not reimburse. She had to change her Internet package, which now costs $100 per month, and she bought $60 worth of office supplies (pencils, paper and ink). She also bought $3,000 worth of furniture (a desk and an ergonomic chair) and office equipment (printer, calculator and stapler).

She calculated that her office takes up 10% of her home. The space is used for work 100% of the time. Her electricity bill is $200 per month. Her mortgage payments (capital and interest), property taxes and school taxes total $2,400 per month.

Julie must make the calculations below to decide which method to use. She worked from home for 180 days from April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, excluding statutory holidays and summer vacation.

Eligible employment expenses Detailed method Temporary fixed rate method

Telecommunications (home Internet)1

$900 ($100 x 9 months)  x 10% x 100% =

$90

N/A

Office supplies

$60

N/A

Heating, electricity and water

$1,800 ($200 x 9 months)  x 10% x 100% =

$180

N/A

Total employment expenses to enter on line 207 of the income tax return

$330

180 days x $2 =

$360

  1. Revenu Québec considers that a reasonable method to identify the deductible part of a home Internet plan is to treat it as a supply (such as electricity) used for the home office.

Julie's furniture, office equipment, mortgage payments (capital and interest), property taxes and school taxes are excluded from the calculation because they are not deductible.

Example of the temporary fixed rate method and the detailed method for a tenant

Audrey rents an apartment for $800 per month, with heating and electricity included. She worked from home for 160 days from April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, excluding statutory holidays and summer vacation.

Audrey's office takes up only 5% of her apartment. The space is used for work 100% of the time. Audrey paid $80 for paper, paperclips and pencils. She kept her Internet package, which has cost her $1,200 since she began teleworking on April 1, 2020.

Audrey must make the calculations below to decide which method to use.

Eligible employment expenses

Detailed method

Temporary fixed rate method

Telecommunications (home Internet)1

$1,200 x 5% x 100% =

$60

N/A

Office supplies

$80

N/A

Other expenses (rent)

$7,200 ($800 x 9 months) x 5% x 100% =

$360

N/A

Total employment expenses to enter on line 207 of the income tax return

$500

160 days x $2 =

$320

  1. Revenu Québec considers that a reasonable method to identify the deductible part of a home Internet plan is to treat it as a supply (such as electricity) used for the home office.
Can my employer sign form TP-64.3-V, General Employment Conditions, electronically?

To make things easier for employers, Revenu Québec is allowing them to email employees an electronically signed copy of form TP-64.3-V. This applies for as long as the COVID-19 health emergency is in effect. 

Revenu Québec will accept the following types of electronic signatures:

  • a digital certificate produced using a specialized tool;
  • a handwritten scanned signature;
  • a handwritten signature made using a device such as a stylus or mouse.

Electronic signatures

Can I sign form MR-69-V electronically?

Yes, until further notice. However, the signature must meet the general requirements of specialized tools.

What types of electronic signatures will Revenu Québec accept?

We will accept the following types of electronic signatures:

  • a digital certificate (for example, a digital certificate produced using a specialized tool);
  • a scanned hand-written signature (meaning an image of a signature);
  • a signature made using an input tool such as a stylus or mouse.

Recovery of tax debts

What if I have a tax debt or Revenu Québec is garnishing my bank account?

On March 17, 2020, we notified financial institutions that Revenu Québec had granted a release of garnishments on current bank accounts for tax debt so that everyone could get the government assistance they were entitled to (such as the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Québec's Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW)).

Given the evolving situation, we will gradually begin to reapply recovery measures as of October 5, 2020, while respecting the relief measures still in effect. Consequently, as of that date, we can once again send financial institutions seizure by garnishment notices for Québec tax debts.

Requirements to pay (GST debts) issued under the Excise Tax Act are still suspended until further notice.

Note that garnishments covering investment accounts (including RRSPs) were maintained unless the garnishment covered bank accounts and investment accounts simultaneously. In addition, if legal proceedings were started to liquidate investment accounts, the garnishment on these accounts was also maintained. For information specific to your situation, call us at 1 866 832-6816.

Data security

How can I protect myself from scammers who are using the COVID-19 crisis for phishing and identity theft?

Scammers are taking advantage of the current COVID-19 crisis to contact you in various ways to obtain personal information.

The phishing fraud technique is used by ill-intentioned people who send mass emails or texts that seem to come from a known organization or business. The fraudulent emails or texts encourage you to click on links or to open attachments, allowing the scammers to steal your personal information. Phishing may also involve installing malicious software on your electronic devices, such as your computer, laptop, tablet or cellphone.

Typical examples of emails or texts that may be sent during the current COVID-19 crisis are:

  • “If you'd like the latest COVID-19 pandemic update, click here.”
  • “To receive the COVID-19 related benefit, click here.”

Be on your guard, as the consequences of responding to a fraudulent message can be significant, ranging from unauthorized use of your confidential information to theft of your information or identity. The access or theft is used to commit fraud.

To learn more about protecting yourself against these scams, see Data Security. Remember to always use caution online.

What should I do in case of fraud or identity theft?

If you believe that you have been the victim of identity theft or a scam, contact us so that we can put additional measures in place to protect your personal information.

For more information about what to do if you have been scammed or your identity has been stolen, see Identity Theft in Brief! on the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec website.

Other

If I need to get in touch with you, can I go to one of your offices?

To help in the fight against COVID-19, our service centres will remain closed through February 8.

You can, however, continue to drop documents off in our mail chutes and use our online services in My Account for individuals and My Account for businesses.

What can I do in My Account for individuals?

You can use My Account for individuals to do a number of things, such as change the information for your advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses or view your notices of assessment.

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