Hamilton May Waive Penalties on Late Tax Bills for up to 30 days

This article contains information from March 21, 2020 about the City of Hamilton waiving penalties for 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article also has information on supports from the Canadian and Hamilton Chambers of Commerce.

John-Paul Danko Ward 8 Hamilton City Councillor

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

There may be relief on the way for property owners who may be struggling to pay their taxes by the April 30 deadline due to the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Hamilton and communities worldwide.

For more details, please continue reading below…

With the Government of Ontario ordering all non-essential businesses closed for 14 days starting Wednesday, the City of Hamilton is taking measures to offer some relief to business owners.

Hamilton review waiving for 30 days any penalties for unpaid property taxes after April 30 to the end of May. During the 30 days, finance staff will examine if further action can be taken to help taxpayers who are unable to pay their tax bills.

Hamilton’s Corporate Services General Manager Mike Zegarac told the Spec that he wanted the 30-day time limit to allow finance staff to examine the impact of waiving any penalties and interest, of which starts to accumulate after the 30 day period and even investigating how to defer payments.

Zegarac went on to say that there are complications if municipalities do waive taxes. An example of this is that Hamilton still has to pay the province the education portion of the city’s taxes, which is about $200 million that is paid in four instalments throughout the year, he said.

He mentioned there are significant impacts staff will have to consider in delaying tax payments, penalties and interest, including considering homeowners who pay their taxes through a mortgage corporation.

Finance staff and councillors also want to see the level of support the federal and provincial governments will offer property owners with their taxes.

The federal government recently announced as part of its $82-billion relief package that the Canada Revenue Agency will defer its tax filing due date for 2019 returns of individuals to June 1, from the original date of April 30.

In addition to the measures taken by all levels of government, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will be introducing a microsite to help business owners through these uncertain times.

Locally, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has information and supports for local businesses through their Business Continuity & Recovery Information page.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ward 8 office here.

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