Update April 17th, 2023:
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) released a statement this morning at 9:00am (EST) on their Facebook Page. The union has publicly set a deadline for 9:00pm (EST) on April 18, 2023. If no agreement is reached by this deadline, the union will begin to strike at 12:01am (EST) Wednesday, April 19th, 2023. This will encompass the 155,000 PSAC members at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS).
Negotiations are ongoing, but this ultimatum has been set to encourage both parties to reach an agreement as the bargaining has been ongoing for almost 2 years.
Update April 11th, 2023:
The PSAC has voted to strike if negotiations are unsuccessful:
“The strike isn’t a done deal — another round of negotiations will be held next week — but CRA workers will be in a legal position to walk off the job on April 14. That’s particularly bad timing for the federal government and anyone anxiously awaiting a refund given that the tax season is already in full swing.”1
The related press release by the PSAC states:
Public Service Alliance of Canada Strike
On February 27, 2023, Global News published an article, “Experts advise to submit tax returns early and online as potential CRA strike looms“, urging taxpayers to submit their tax returns early and online due to a potential CRA Strike. Upon further investigation, we located a statement released on January 24, 2023 by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in which they issued a response to the potential Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Strike Vote. The Government of Canada utilized this statement to emphasize their disappointment in the PSAC’s decision to call for strike votes as opposed to continuing with the bargaining process:
We believe there is lots of room to reach a fair and reasonable agreement for public servants. We call on PSAC to return to the table.
Last week, the first of four Public Interest Commission reports recommended that negotiations resume, noting that if priorities are established and demands moderated, there appear to be many areas of potential compromise. But we need a willing partner negotiating in good faith.
We have already signed an agreement with another bargaining agent that includes wage increases of more than 10% over four years. Such increases align with other comparable public service collective agreements being established elsewhere in Canada. We are confident that similar outcomes can be reached for other employees at the bargaining table. And doing so quickly means that employees will get wage increases faster.
The government’s position is clear. We are committed to reaching agreements with all bargaining agents that are fair to employees and reasonable for taxpayers.
We call on PSAC to come back to the table and negotiate an agreement in good faith. That’s where the best deals are reached.3
The PSAC is one of Canada’s largest unions, and “represents nearly 230,000 workers in every province and territory in Canada and in locations around the world. Members of the PSAC work in federal government departments and agencies, Crown Corporations, universities, casinos, community services agencies, Aboriginal communities, airports, and the security sector among others.”4
The PSAC has chosen to call for strike votes. This may impact taxpayers’ 2023 tax returns. We recommend that individual and corporate taxpayers submit their tax returns early to avoid any delay.
For individuals, the deadline to file personal income tax and benefit returns is April 30, 2023; however, since April 30, 2023, falls on a Sunday, tax returns will be considered filed on time if the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) receives it, or it is postmarked, on or before May 1, 2023.5
The filing requirements for Canadian corporations are slightly different than for individuals, as the deadline is based on your corporation’s fiscal year-end (FYE):
File your return no later than six months after the end of each tax year. The tax year of a corporation is its fiscal period.6
If your corporate tax return is due between now and the end of April we suggest you aim to file early to avoid any delays in receiving back any refunds you are eligible for as the PSAC will be holding strike votes until mid-April:
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is launching nationwide strike votes for more than 120,000 federal public service workers after talks broke down over wages and other key issues. Strike votes for members in the Program and Administrative Services, Operational Services, Technical Services, and Education and Library Science bargaining groups will be conducted from February 22 to April 19, 2023.7
We will keep an eye on this situation for our readers. If you can file now, we recommend you do so and try to avoid the confusion and delays that may occur.
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- MSN – Financial Post. (April 11, 2023). CRA workers move to strike for higher wages, but time for big raises may have already passed. Retrieved from: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/cra-workers-move-to-strike-for-higher-wages-but-time-for-big-raises-may-have-already-passed/ar-AA19IFLt ↩
- Public Service Alliance of Canada. (April 7, 2023). Workers at Canada Revenue Agency provide overwhelming strike mandate. Retrieved April 11, 2023, from: https://psacunion.ca/workers-canada-revenue-agency-provide-overwhelming. ↩
- Government of Canada. (January 24, 2023). Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Statement in response to Public Service Alliance of Canada Strike Vote. Accessed March 2, 2023, from: https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/news/2023/01/treasury-board-of-canada-secretariat-statement-in-response-to-public-service-alliance-of-canada-strike-vote.html ↩
- Public Service Alliance of Canada. About Us. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from: https://psacunion.ca/about-us. ↩
- Government of Canada. (February 21, 2023). What you need to know for the 2023 tax-filing season. Accessed March 2, 2023, from: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/newsroom/tax-tips/tax-tips-2023/what-you-need-know-2023-tax-filing-season.html ↩
- Government of Canada. (May 5, 2022). When to file your corporation income tax return. Accessed March 2, 2023, from: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/corporations/corporation-income-tax-return/when-file-your-corporation-income-tax-return.html ↩
- Public Service Alliance of Canada. (January 23, 2023). PSAC announces strike votes for more than 120,000 federal workers. Accessed March 2, 2023, from: https://psacunion.ca/psac-announces-strike-votes-more-120000-federal ↩