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Here's how the CRA strike will impact tax filing


Canada’s largest public service union announced late Tuesday it will be going on strike at midnight.

More than 155,000 workers at the Canada Revenue Agency and the Treasury Board will hit the picket line Wednesday as part of their push for better pay and flexibility around remote work.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is still hoping for a ‘fair deal.’

“We truly hoped we wouldn’t be forced to take strike action, but we’ve exhausted every other avenue to reach a fair contract for Canada’s Federal Public Service workers,” said Chris Aylward, the national president for PSAC, in a media release. “Now more than ever, workers need fair wages, good working conditions and inclusive workplaces. And it’s clear the only way we’ll achieve that is by taking strike action to show the government that workers can’t wait.”

PSAC said they aren’t walking away from the bargaining table.

“As we begin this historic strike, PSAC bargaining teams will remain at the table night and day as they have been for weeks,” Aylward said. “We’re ready to reach a fair deal as soon as the government is ready to come to the table with a fair offer.”

The union added that negotiations between PSAC and the Treasury Board began in June 2021 but reached an “impasse” in May 2022.


For many, the timing couldn’t be worse.

Employees with the Canada Revenue Agency are going on strike just two weeks before the tax deadline.

“It could mean that many people are left in limbo with their financial situation, never mind those who are waiting for a tax return,” said Laurie Campbell, the vice-president of client solutions and client financial wellness at Bromwich+Smith.

The CRA said access to online services will remain available during the strike, but there may be increased wait times for call centres. Delays are also possible for processing income tax and benefit returns – particularly those filed by paper.

A licensed insolvency trustee suggests filing online, but if you need to use mail, be sure to keep copies of everything.

“Get it in the mail with the proper postage and hope for the best, but my guess [is] it will be one of those ones sitting in a pile for a long period of time if we’re seeing a strike,” Campbell said.

A staggering increase in the number of people dealing with high debt levels is adding to the urgency this year.

Campbell said between February 2022 and February 2023 insolvencies across the country increased by 24 per cent.

She said strike or no strike, it’s important everyone files their taxes to avoid any penalties.

“That interest and penalties can really add up, especially if you have debt that you owe to CRA,” Campbell said. “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that there will be any forgiveness.” Top Stories

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