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.

Income tax return

What is the deadline for filing my income tax return?Updated

For individuals, the deadline for filing your income tax return for 2020 is April 30, 2021.

However, Revenu Québec will not charge late-filing penalties if the return is filed by May 31, 2021.

For individuals in business, the deadline for filing your income tax return for 2020 is June 15, 2021.

What is the deadline for paying an income tax balance for 2020?Updated

For individuals and individuals in business, the deadline for paying an income tax balance for 2020 is April 30, 2021.

Revenu Québec will not charge interest if the payment is made by May 31, 2021.

Will the interest be waived on the balance due in my income tax return for 2020?Updated

Interest on your income tax due for 2020 will be waived until April 30, 2022, if you meet both of the following conditions:

  • Your taxable income for 2020 was $75,000 or less.
  • You received benefits under the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW), a farm worker bonus or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, maternity or paternity benefits received under the EI program or the Québec parental insurance plan (QPIP), or any of the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB, CRSB or CRCB).

You do not need to apply for the waiver. The interest will be waived automatically.

Note
  • If you file your 2020 income tax return after May 31, 2021 (or June 15, 2021, if you or your spouse carried on a business in 2020), the regular late-filing penalty may still apply.
  • The waiver of interest only applies to income tax for 2020. Previous debts will continue to bear interest.
If my interest can be waived, will my spouse's interest be waived automatically as well?

Not necessarily. Each individual person must meet the conditions.

Will interest on instalment payments be waived as well?

Interest on instalment payments will not be waived. If you did not make the required instalment payments for 2020, you will have to pay interest on them when you file your income tax return for 2020.

If you are required to make instalment payments for 2021, your four payments are due by March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15, 2021.

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 will file my income tax return as soon as possible. How long will it take to process it?

We are continuing to process income tax returns. Although the time it takes can vary, we aim to process your return within 14 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.

Tax credits and social programs

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, Revenu Québec is giving you extra time. You now have until April 30, 2021, to file your application.

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

Whether your job loss is permanent or temporary (three or more weeks), you must contact Revenu Québec's client services to request that your payments be stopped. If they are not stopped, you will have to repay the overpayments to Revenu Québec when you file your income tax return in the spring of 2022.

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 file their 2020 income tax return on time, the solidarity tax credit will be paid as explained on their notice of determination (for the payment period from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022).

I'm on social assistance and I owe money to the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS). Can Revenu Québec use my solidarity tax credit payments to pay what I owe the MTESS?

Yes. Revenu Québec had temporarily stopped using solidarity tax credit payments to pay debts to the MTESS for people who receive social assistance benefits. This ended on July 31, 2021. Effective August 1, 2021, Revenu Québec can once again use your solidarity tax credit payments to pay your debt to the MTESS. However, if you receive social assistance benefits from the MTESS or the family income used to calculate your solidarity tax credit is less than $21,470, Revenu Québec will only use up to 50% of your payments to pay your debt to the MTESS and other debts (tax debt, amounts owed to another government department, support debt, etc.).

I'm on social assistance and I have other debts (tax debt, amounts owed to another government department, support debt, etc.) in addition to the money I owe the MTESS. Can Revenu Québec use my solidarity tax credit payments to pay those other debts?

Yes. Revenu Québec can use your solidarity tax payments to pay amounts you owe, such as tax debts, amounts owed to other government departments and your support debt. However, if you receive social assistance benefits from the MTESS or the family income used to calculate your solidarity tax credit is less than $21,470, Revenu Québec will only use up to 50% of your payments to pay your debt (including the money you owe the MTESS).

Can my solidarity tax credit payments be used to pay my spouse's tax or government debt?
No.
I get benefits under the CRB, CSRB or CRCB. Am I eligible for advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses?

Yes. If you receive benefits under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), you may be eligible for advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses.

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

I get benefits under the CRB, CSRB or CRCB and advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses. Do I need to notify Revenu Québec?

No. If you receive advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses, you do not need to notify us if you receive benefits under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).

These benefits do not affect your eligibility for advance payments of the tax credit for childcare expenses.

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?

If you meet the conditions below, you can use one of the methods described under “How do I deduct teleworking-related employment expenses?” below to deduct, in your income tax return for 2020, some of the expenses you incurred in 2020.

  • 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.
When will I be able to deduct my employment expenses related to teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

You will be able to deduct these employment expenses in your 2020 income tax return.

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;
  • the portion of an Internet service package that is reasonably attributable to the performance of your work;
  • 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.

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, 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.  

Based on my situation, which method is better for claiming a deduction for employment expenses related to working from home?

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.

See the examples below to determine which method is best for you.

You can also use the calculator published by the Ministère des Finances to help decide which method is best for you.

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. We consider 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. We consider 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.
If a number of employees telework in the same home, can each employee claim a deduction for employment expenses?

Yes. Each employee who meets the conditions can use one of the two methods below to calculate their deduction for employment expenses.

  • Temporary fixed rate method: Each employee claims $2 for each day worked.
  • Detailed method: Each employee claims the teleworking expenses they incurred based on the percentage of the home's total area covered by the office space.

Example – A dedicated work space is shared

Patty and Alex worked from home because of the COVID-19 crisis and shared a dedicated office space they used only for work. The office represents 12% of their home's total area. Each person used half of the office space.

They must calculate their expenses as follows:

Patty:
12% x 50% x 100 = 6%

Alex:
12% x 50% x 100 = 6%

Patty and Alex can therefore each claim 6% of their respective home office expenses.

Since the office is a dedicated work space, they do not have to take the number of hours they worked into account.

Example – A common space is shared for work

Chloe and Jason worked from the dining room table because of the COVID-19 crisis. The room represents 12% of their home's total area. Each person used half of the space. Chloe worked there 40 hours per week and Jason worked there 25 hours per week. There are 168 hours in a week (24 hours x 7 days).

They must calculate their expenses as follows:

Chloe:
(40 hours / 168 hours) x 6% x 100 = 1.4%

Jason:
(25 hours / 168 hours) x 6% x 100 = 0.9%

Chloe and Jason can therefore respectively claim 1.4% and 0.9% of their home office expenses.

Note

Revenu Québec applies the same conditions and rules as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with regard to the deduction of employment expenses by employees who are teleworking because of COVID-19. For more information and examples, see Home Office Expenses for Employees: What the Changes Are on the Government of Canada website.

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 gradually began applying recovery measures on 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) are still suspended until further notice. However, the recovery of GST debts resumed on February 15, 2021, and is covered by relief measures such as those for Québec tax debts. Consequently, we may once again send financial institutions requirements to pay for GST debts.

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.

Paying a debt

I'm on social assistance and I owe money to the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS). Can Revenu Québec use my solidarity tax credit payments or my income tax refund to pay what I owe the MTESS?

Yes. Revenu Québec had temporarily stopped using payments to pay debts to the MTESS for people who receive social assistance benefits. This ended on July 31, 2021. Effective August 1, 2021, Revenu Québec can once again use your solidarity tax credit payments or your income tax refund to pay your debt to the MTESS. However, if you receive social assistance benefits from the MTESS or the family income used to calculate your solidarity tax credit is less than $21,470, Revenu Québec will only use up to 50% of your solidarity tax credit payments to pay your debt to the MTESS and other debts (tax debt, amounts owed to another government department, support debt, etc.).

I'm on social assistance and I have other debts (tax debt, amounts owed to another government department, support debt, etc.) in addition to the money I owe the MTESS. Can Revenu Québec use my solidarity tax credit payments or my income tax refund to pay those other debts?

Yes. Revenu Québec can use your solidarity tax payments or your income tax refund to pay amounts you owe, such as tax debts, amounts owed to other government departments and your support debt. However, if you receive social assistance benefits from the MTESS or the family income used to calculate your solidarity tax credit is less than $21,470, Revenu Québec will only use up to 50% of your solidarity tax credit payments to pay your debt (including the money you owe the MTESS).

Can my solidarity tax credit payments be used to pay my spouse's tax or government debt?
No.
How much do I owe the MTESS?
Contact the MTESS for your balance due.

Other

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

Our offices are now open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, you cannot meet with a representative or get copies of documents from your file.

At our offices, you can:

  • make payments;
  • obtain forms;
  • drop off documents.

In compliance with the government directive issued on July 18, 2020, you must wear a mask or face covering in our offices. Security guards are on site to monitor visitors and ensure that they follow social distancing rules and hygiene instructions, in order to protect our staff and clients.

Other services are available online in My Account for individuals and My Account for businesses.

You can also send us a secure email or contact us.

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.

Is Revenu Québec affected by the federal government's announcement that self-employed individuals who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and would have qualified based on their gross income will not be required to repay the benefit?

No. Because the change concerns only eligibility for a federal program, you must contact the federal government.

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