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Navigating Estate Settlement Amidst the CRA Strike: What You Need to Know

Realize the impact of the CRA strike on estate settlements, and be reassured by ClearEstate's steadfast resolve to support you amid this historic strike.

Navigate the estate settlement process during the CRA strike

The largest strike in Canadian history is underway, as over 150,000 federal public servants in the nation are striking in their push for better working conditions.

Among the 150,000 workers participating in the strike - 39,000 are employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The strike's consequences may have a considerable effect on those settling estates in the country.

As the strike proceeds, the nation may end up facing extensive consequences affecting various aspects of public services including the rapidly approaching tax filing deadline on April 30th.

Although some essential workers will remain on duty, service disruptions and delays are expected. The CRA will prioritize benefit payments, such as child tax benefits, but experts are concerned that even minor delays may negatively impact Canadians.

For those settling estates, labor disruption raises concerns about processing times, access to crucial information, and the ability to fulfill their responsibilities in a timely manner.

What does a CRA strike mean for you?

Now that CRA employees are on strike, it means that certain services will likely be delayed or unavailable. There will likely be significantly longer wait times when contacting CRA call centers and the processing of tax returns and benefits may be delayed.

On average, it takes CRA 2 weeks to process an electronically filed tax return and 8 weeks to process a paper filed return. Both of these time frames will likely take longer, with the paper return turnaround time expected to increase by a longer time frame.

Taxpayers, including estates, are still encouraged to file their taxes and to file them on time if possible. Late filing penalties and interest on payments owing will still apply. As of this writing, there has not been an announcement pertaining to an extension so the May 1, 2023 deadline still applies. Tax refunds may also be delayed, particularly if you receive your refund by cheque and not by direct deposit.

What happened the last time CRA had a strike?

CRA workers last went on strike in 2004. It lasted just over five weeks, from September 8 to October 13, 2004. At that time, there were designated employees who continued the delivery of essential services and benefit payments (such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit, CPP payments, and GST/HST credit payments) all stayed on time.

Large delays were experienced at the various tax services offices and in the processing of certain payments such as tax instalment payments. However, the deadlines for the tax instalment payments were not extended- the payments needed to be made by September 15 even if they were not processed. This was the same philosophy for other monies owing to CRA.

It is important to note that in 2004 there was a much smaller engagement of online services and electronic filing than in 2023 and it was in September, not April. Therefore, the delays for 2023 are expected to be different and not for the better.

Our Commitment to You During the CRA Strike

In the midst of the largest strike in Canadian history, we recognize the apprehension and stress families might be facing.

We understand that filing taxes for the deceased can be a daunting task, but it becomes even more challenging when faced with a historic service interruption.

This difficulty is particularly pronounced for those who have never managed taxes under such circumstances.

As an organization specializing in estate settlement and tax filing for deceased individuals, our primary goal is to offer expert assistance and direction to help families maneuver through this uncertain period.

Here is how we are ready to help you:

Deep Expertise: Our proficient team has a specialized understanding of estate taxes and the unique requirements for submitting taxes for the deceased. We will assist you through the entire process to ensure all necessary paperwork and documentation are completed precisely and in a timely manner.

Transparent Communication: We will keep you informed with updated information throughout the entire process by maintaining open and honest communication. Any potential delays or alterations due to the CRA strike will be relayed to you, along with guidance on the most suitable actions to minimize adverse effects.

Digital Submission: To circumvent potential delays caused by the strike, our priority will be to file taxes electronically when feasible. This approach will help speed up the processing of your tax returns and decrease the chance of prolonged waiting periods.

Adaptive Planning: Our team is ready to adjust to any challenges or shifts resulting from the CRA strike. We will diligently devise contingency strategies to ensure that your tax filings and estate settlement matters are managed efficiently and effectively, despite any external hurdles.

Guidance and Support: We understand that this period may be difficult for many families, and we are here to offer guidance and support every step of the way. Our team is at your disposal to address any questions or concerns regarding the tax filing process or estate settlement during the CRA strike.

You can trust that our primary concern is to help you and your family navigate this demanding time with minimal disruption.

We are committed to delivering expert guidance, exceptional service, and unwavering support ensuring a seamless estate settlement experience, even in the face of challenging a historic CRA strike.

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