2020 Tax Guide

2020 Tax Year—Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline to file and pay this year?

The deadline for most, including those who owe a tax debt, is April 30, 2021. Individuals can file online as early as February 22, 2021.

Can I still file on paper?

Yes, although filing online is the fastest and most secure way. Constituents who filed a paper return last year should be mailed the 2020 Income Tax Package by February 19, 2021, but there may be delays due to COVID-19.

Where can I find tax help from the CRA?

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) may be able to complete and file individuals’ taxes virtually by videoconference, by phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement. For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/community-volunteer-income-tax-program.html  

What changes have been made to the home office expenses deduction?

The CRA has introduced a Temporary flat rate method to calculate the deduction. Eligible employees can claim a deduction of $2 for each day they worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19, up to $400 maximum for the year. This can only be used for the 2020 tax year.

Employees with larger claims can still choose to use the existing detailed method to calculate their home office expense deduction.


More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2020/12/simplifying-the-process-for-claiming-a-deduction-for-home-office-expenses-for-employees-working-from-home-due-to-covid-19.html


How do I report emergency and recovery benefit income related to COVID-19?

Income from these benefit payments are taxable. Some provinces or territories may have sent out pandemic related payments that are considered taxable income, these amounts should be included on your tax return.

If you received COVID-19 recovery benefit payments from the CRA, you should have received a T4 slip.


To find out how to report these amount refer to: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2021/01/canada-revenue-agency-to-begin-issuing-t4as-to-covid-19-emergency-and-recovery-benefit-recipients.html?utm_source=stkhldrs&utm_medium=eml&utm_campaign=stkhldrhlpngcnsttntsthrghtxssnlknthr

 How is the CRA helping with tax debt this year?

Targeted interest relief is being provided to Canadians who are facing income tax debt for the 2020 tax year as a result of having received COVID-related income support benefits. These individuals will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for 2020 until April 30, 2022. This interest relief will automatically be applied for individuals who meet these criteria.

The Government of Canada is also taking steps to allow self-employed individuals who applied for CERB based on their gross income from self-employment to keep their payments, provided they met all other eligibility requirements. The same approach will apply whether the individual applied through the Canada Revenue Agency or Service Canada.

Some qualifying self-employed individuals whose net self-employment income was less than $5000 may have already voluntarily repaid the CERB. The CRA and Service Canada will return any repaid amounts to impacted individuals.

Additional Supports:

Canada Revenue Agency Toll-Free Line:

For individual tax information, call: 1-800-959-8281

For business-related tax information, call: 1-800-959-5525


You can check wait times here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/contact-information.html


Check the status of your refund:

If you reside in Canada, wait 8 weeks before contacting the Canada Revenue Agency for an update on your tax return and refund status. If you reside outside of Canada, wait 16 weeks. To access the details of your tax return, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/refunds-status.html


To find out the standard processing times for tax returns and other tax-related requests sent to the Canada Revenue Agency visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/corporate/contact-information/check-cra-processing-times.html

**Please note that the COVID-19 pandemic may be impacting the standard processing times**


For People with Disabilities:

Disability Alliance BC Tax AID— Assist people who are receiving the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefit or the Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers (PPMB) benefit with simple income tax filings and information/referrals. Provides help with:

  • Gathering documents necessary to file taxes
  • One-to-one help with filing basic income tax returns
  • Provides information and advice (in-person, or by phone/email) about filing income tax returns
  • Referrals to community organizations in your area that can help with more complex tax returns
  • Advice and support for you from a chartered accountant, if your tax return is complex


#1450-605 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 5J3 

Phone: 236-477-1717 & 1-877-940-7797 (Toll-free)

Email: [email protected]

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Website: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/direct-service/file-income-taxes/


For Seniors:

411 Seniors Centre Information and Referral Services— Assisting individuals over the age of 55 with filling out forms and offers a tax clinic from the beginning of March until the end of April for low-income seniors or people on disability. Operating on a drop-off/pick-up basis, eligibility criteria includes:

  • Seniors 55+ years old
  • Persons with disability: receiving disability benefits
  • Has a total amount of income LESS than:
    • $35,000 per individual,
    • $45,000 for a couple,
    • $45,000 per individual with a dependent
      • $2500 for each dependent
    • Interest income LESS than $1,000


704-333 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6A 4C1

Phone: 604-684-8171

Email: [email protected]

Tax Clinic Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 am — 2 pm

Website: http://www.411seniors.bc.ca


Local Community Volunteer Income Tax Programs




Returns Prepared



Additional Information

First United CVITP Clinic:

320 Hastings ST E

Vancouver, BC


(604) 681-8365 EXT 108

[email protected]

February 22-April 30:

Monday & Friday- 9AM-11AM

Wednesday- 12:30PM-3:30PM

Drop-off or walk-in

Current and prior years


Indigenous, newcomers, persons with disabilities, seniors, social assistance recipients, students, youth

First come, first serve

China Villa Senior Home:

300 Pender ST E

Vancouver, BC


(604) 700-7523

[email protected]

March 10-March 17:

Wednesday- 9AM-10AM

Drop-off or walk-in

Current and prior years

English, Cantonese

Persons with disabilities, local community, seniors, social assistance recipients

-     Appointments are needed to drop off tax returns

-     Appointments preferred

-     First come, first serve

-     Client provide all tax slips & receipts

-     Use main entrance

Mosaic BC—Virtual:


Daniel Smyth—

[email protected]

March 3-May 9:

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday- 12PM-5PM

By appointment only

Current and prior years

English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Filipino, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Dari, Farsi, Arabic, Amharic, Kurdish

Newcomers and seniors

-     Appointments are needed to drop off tax returns

-     Does not serve clients that exceed suggested income (refer to chart)

-     Government issued photo ID required

Guru Nanak Resource Centre—Virtual


Mohinder Singh Nanda:

(604) 322-5613

(604) 652-9520

[email protected]

January 1-December 31:

Monday to Friday- 10AM-12PM

By appointment only

Current and prior years

English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu

Genreal public

-     Appointments preferred

-     Does not serve clients that exceed suggested income (refer to chart)

-     Government issued photo ID required

-     Client must proved all tax slips & receipts


577 Pender ST E Vancouver, BC


Kitta Hu:

(778) 652-2885

(604) 254-2107

[email protected]

March 10-April 28:

Wednesday & Saturday- 2PM-4:30PM

By appointment only

Current and prior years

English, Cantonese, Mandarin

Club/association members, newcomers, persons with disabilities, residents of community, seniors, social assistance recipients, students

-     Appointments preferred

-     Does not serve clients that exceed suggested income (refer to chart)

-     Government issued photo ID required

-     Client must proved all tax slips & receipts

Peggy Egli—Virtual


Peggy Egli:

(778) 230-9159

[email protected]

March 1-April 30: Wednesday, Friday & Saturday- 1PM-4PM


May 1-September 30: Monday to Thursday- 1PM-4PM

By appointment only

Current and prior years

English and French

Genreal public


The Advocacy Office—Virtual


Ellen Silvergieter:

(604) 683-4287

[email protected]

February 23-December 16:

Monday to Friday- 9:30AM-4:30PM

By appointment only

Current and prior years


Indigenous, newcomers, persons with disabilities, seniors, social assistance recipients, students

-     Until May 15, current tax returns only

-     After May 15, prior year tax returns


Modest Income:

Use the suggested income levels shown in the following table as a guideline to determine if an individual is eligible for the CVITP. In general, a modest income means the total family income is less than the amount shown in the chart below, based on the size of the family.


Family Size

Total Family Income

1 person


2 persons


3 persons


4 persons


5 persons


More than 5 persons

$52,500, plus $2,5000 for each adult


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